Sunday, June 24, 2018

I.D. R Runs Fastest in Pikes Peak Qualifying

By: Sebastien Bell
Romain Dumas has accomplished his first mission, setting the fastest time in qualifying ahead of this weekend’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
With ambitions of setting the electric record on Sunday, the 3.16.083 qualifying time is a good start for Volkswagen and the I.D. R.

“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 kilometer.”
The time was a full 11 seconds faster than the second fastest runner—Simone Faggioli in a Norma M20 SF PKB combustion engine racer.
Even more encouraging, that makes the I.D. R faster through the first, 8.3 km (5.15 mile) sector—to which the qualifying runs are limited—than the e0 PP100, which set the electric record in 2011. That car set a qualification time of 3:36.41 in 2016, despite making considerably more power than the I.D. R.

That car, driven by New Zealand’s Rhys Millen, made it all the way up the Hill Climb in 8:57.118 that same year. That’s the fastest anybody’s ever been up the hill in an electric car.
Even more encouraging still, Sebastien Loeb set a 3.26.728 seconds in 2013 before setting the out and out hill climb record in his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak—interestingly, Dumas qualified second that year, so this may be a personal victory for him, too.
Regardless, the team isn’t setting its hopes too high, according to VW Motorsport’s director, Sven Smeets. Weather, road conditions, and any number of other factors could all conspire to make a record run impossible.

“The time speaks for itself,” said Smeets, in a statement. “However, that was only qualifying. We are optimistic about the race, but must always bear in mind that we only have one single attempt.”
As a result of its sterling performance, the I.D. R will be the first car off the starting line. That means it should take off at about 10:00 am local time, after the motorcycles have all run.
The I.D. R will make its record attempt on Sunday, June 24.

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