Three time French ice racing champ Jean-Philippe Dayraut has accomplished a lot in his career, but he’s always wanted to race, and win, at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He accomplished one of the two last week, and despite plenty of enthusiasm, finished just third in on what is recognized as the most challenging event of its kind.
With a time of 10 minutes and 17 seconds, Dayraut was 26 seconds off of Monster Tajima’s record-setting sub-10 minute run and 8 seconds behind Rhys Millen. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, with Tajima a veteran of the mountain and Millen having competed there many times before. Dayraut, however, had just three days to prepare and his purpose-built Nissan GT-R powered mid-engine Dacia Duster race car was built in just three months.
“It’s got to be the most incredible and craziest event I have ever done,” he said after reaching the peak. “The mix of asphalt and gravel calls for special driving skills and I am thrilled to have finished on the podium and competed up there with best.”
But Dayraut’s story doesn’t end there. In a release issues by Dacia parent company Renault, there’s a big hint that the team will be back to contest for the win next year.
GALLERY: Dacia Duster Pikes Peak No Limit