Sébastien Loeb will take his best shot at capturing a win this year at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Peugeot 208 T16 race car, and the brand has released a video of Loeb taking his first test runs up the Pikes Peak course.
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The most successful driver in World Rally Championship history, Sébastien Loeb, is no stranger to fast cars, and even he is impressed by Peugeot’s new Pikes Peak race car.
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It is a tradition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to run up the hill of this famous estate. Just about every type of road and racing car make this trek, and the Bentley ice racer is no exception.
Earlier this year, Bentley set a new record of the highest speed achieved by a car on ice when it hit 205.48 with their 631-horsepower Continental Supersports convertible. The record run took place on a section of the Baltic Sea on a 10-mile track, just off the coast of Finland, and the car was driven by rallying superstar Juha Kankunnen.
The weather at Goodwood was a lot warmer and the crowd was much bigger for the run up the hill, but Kankunnen delighted the crowd with some quick runs. He said; “Driving this very special Bentley Continental in front of the packed Goodwood grandstands was a special experience for me. Driving on a frozen sea was a unique challenge and only a few Bentley engineers and my support crew were there to witness the new world record. So it was a pleasure to provide a glimpse of the capabilities of this Bentley to a huge audience of motorsport enthusiasts on a beautiful summer’s day.”
However, Kankunnen wasn’t the only celebrity on the Bentley grand stand, as five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell was also in attendance. Bell, who now works as a driving consultant for Bentley also made the run, choosing to drive the new Continental GT coupe up the hill. Bell who was part of the winning 2003 Bentley Le Mans team said; “Driving the GT at Goodwood was a lot of fun. The new car maintains all the luxury and refinement for which Bentley is renowned, but is even quicker, dynamically sharper and more powerful than its predecessor.”
Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima is no stranger to Pikes Peak: he’s won the International Hill Climb five times, and currently holds the record for the fastest time up the mountain. This year, he’s aiming to win again, and who is his greatest opponent? Himself.
The current best time up the 12.42-mile course is 10:01.408, set by Monster himself in 2007. Cracking the 10-minute mark is the Holy Grail, the motorsports equivalent of the four-minute mile—but just as that challenge was cracked in 1954, so too will Pikes Peak be conquered in under 10 minutes.
Tajima is driving once again for Suzuki, this time in an SX4 Hill Climb Special with 910 horsepower. He will face challenges from Paul Dallenbach, Dave Carapetyan and Rhys Millen, who was favored to be the event’s front-runner last year in his Hyundai Genesis coupe but ultimately proved to be a dud. The festivities begin this Friday, June 24th, and the racing starts on the 26th in Colorado Springs.
On June 26, an electric Nissan Leaf will compete in the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb driven by Nissan off-road truck racing champion Chad Hord. The Leaf will compete in the Production Class for electric vehicles in factory shape. Other than a roll cage, racing seats and safety harnesses the car will be entirely stock.
The Nissan Leaf is powered by a lithium-ion battery composed of 48 compact modules and a high response 80kW AC synchronous motor producing 107-hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.
“This is another innovative way to showcase the fun-to-drive nature of the Nissan Leaf and highlight that 100 percent electric vehicles perform very well in demanding situations like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb,” said Ron Stukenberg, senior manager, Marketing Communications, Motorsports. “The instant torque available from the electric motor makes the LEAF a fun car to drive and the abundance of corners on the hill climb will give Chad a chance to take advantage of that torque.”
Nissan is very excited to enter the Leaf in the competition and hopes to show the general public the potential of this fully electric vehicle.
“Nissan is committed to taking an innovative approach to showcasing the Nissan Leaf and Pikes Peak is an excellent venue to do just that,” explained Stukenberg . “Nissan Leaf owners are fully embracing this new world of zero-emission technology. We believe the same potential exists in the motorsports world, and we’re proud to be one of the first on the grid.”
The RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580 is about as far removed from a Hyundai Genesis as you can get, but its still pretty damn cool. With a tube frame steel chassis, an active differential and a 650-horsepower 4.1L V6 – all with a curb weight of under 1,900 lbs - the PM580 is a serious machine, and one that you will never ever see on the road. If you’re not going to Pikes Peak, check out the gallery below and take in how badass this one-off racer really is.
Gallery: RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580