Romain Dumas and the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak challenger made a clear statement of intent in qualifying ahead of the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the US state of Colorado.
The Frenchman, at the wheel of Volkswagen’s first fully-electric racing car, was the fastest of all the competitors, setting an eye-catching time of 3:16.083 minutes. The three-time Pikes Peak winner went 11.049 seconds quicker than second-placed Simone Faggioli in his Norma M20 SF PKP with its combustion engine.
“That was a very good day for us,” said Dumas. “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is incredible. I have never experienced acceleration and power like that in a racing car. I am noticing how the car and I are becoming more and more of a unit with every kilometre,” said the Frenchman.
Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director, was also happy with the way qualifying panned out: “A big compliment to the entire team. We completed an important test yesterday, the findings from which have helped us to optimise the set-up of the I.D. R Pikes Peak further.
“The result is that the car was superbly prepared today, and the time speaks for itself. However, that was only qualifying. We are optimistic about the race, but must always bear in mind that we only have one single attempt.”
In qualifying for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, each competitor is only running on the first section of the 12.42-mile course, from the start at 9,390 feet up to the 5-mile mark at just under 12,000 feet above sea level. The times are used to determine the starting order for the race. The competitor with the fastest qualifying time starts first. As it stands, this will be Romain Dumas in the I.D. R Pikes Peak.
Volkswagen’s pursuit of the record for electric vehicles, which currently stands at 8:57.118 minutes, begins on Sunday (24 June 2018). The first racers take to the track from 08:00 local time are the 24 registered motorcycles. They are then followed by 62 cars in six different classes. Romain Dumas is scheduled to start in the I.D. R Pikes Peak at about 10:00 (18:00 CEST).