Romain Dumas has smashed the outright record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the electric Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak.
The Volkswagen Motorsport team was targeting the electric record for the event, but Dumas’s time of 7min 57.148secs on the 12.42-mill course eclipsed the overall mark of 8min 13.878secs, set by Sébastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak in 2013.
Pikes Peak notebook: insight and updates from the event
Dumas averaged 90.538mph on the 156-turn course in the ID R Pikes Peak, which produces around 671bhp from two electric motors. The machine had been built for the project in just seven months.
“We exceeded even our own high expectations,” said Dumas. “Since this week’s tests, we have known that it was possible to break the all-time record. For it to come off, everything had to come together perfectly – from the technology to the driver. And the weather had to play ball too.
“That everything ran so smoothly is an incredible feeling, and the new record on Pikes Peak is the icing on the cake.
“The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most impressive car I have ever driven in competition. The electric drivetrain means that many things are different and I learned a lot during the project.”
Breaking the record is a major milestone for a full electric motorsport programme, representing the first time an EV has proven quick than a combustion engines machine on a major event.
Volkswagen Motorsport boss Sven Smeets said the record proved the capability of electric car technology.
“This project was a demonstration of what the ID family will be, and what R will be in an electric future,” he said. “We can bring some of this to electric road cars.”
Insight: why Volkswagen targeted Pikes Peak for electric motorsport project
The event does suit battery-powered electric cars because, unlike international combustion engines, they don’t lose power at altitude. The finish line of Pikes Peak is 14,115ft above sea level.
Bentley breaks production SUV record
A Bentley Bentayga W12 has set a new benchmark time for a production SUV on Pikes Peak, with Rhys Millen completing the course in 10min 49.902secs.
That obliterates the previous record for a standard SUV of 12min 35.610secs, set by Paul Dallenbach in a Range Rover Sport in 2014. That time was set on a standalone event sanctioned by Pikes Peak organisers, PPIHC, rather than as part of the annual event.
Faggioli sets the stunning time to finish second, storm hampers later crews
Italian event rookie Simone Faggioli finished second on the event in his Norma M20, setting a stunning time of 8min 37.230secs. That time is the second fastest set by a combustion engined-car on the event, despite Faggioli never having driven the full course until his one timed run.
Peter Cunningham was third quickest and won the Pikes Peak Open class in a 2018 Acura TLX GT with a time of 9min 27.352secs. That eclipsed Cunningham’s 2017 class record, set in a similar TLX GT, by more than six seconds.
Fabien Bouduban, Faggioli’s team-mate, was fourth overall, completing the hill in 9min 28.254secs. Paul Dallenbach was fifth and won the Open Wheel class in his PVA Dallenbach Special, with a time of 9min 37.135secs.
The weather was a major factor in the event. Low cloud enveloped parts of the mountain just before Dumas began his run shortly after 1000hrs and had to battle fog and damp in the middle section of his run. But he fared better than later runners, when a storm rolled in, with hail and snow falling at the summit. That caused the event to be stopped, with the later runners only able to drive a shortened section of the course as a result.