|Following the Pikes Peak at Mont Ventoux in the south of France on 28 May, the ‘Rocket’ 208 T16 Pikes Peak machine now prepares for second tests on 8, 9, 14, 15 and 16 June; followed by the second tour at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, U.S.A. from 28 – 30 June.|
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs and the second oldest motor sports event in the United States. An annual event since 1916, this year marks the 91st running of the “Race to the Clouds” and the 97th anniversary of this historical event.
In the hands of 9-time WRC Champion Sebastien Loeb, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak successfully traversed the tough Mount Ventoux, also site of the renowned Tour de France, that featured steep slopes and numerous ‘fall-out’ turns. The final six kilometers provided the backdrop to one of the most famous hill climb events in the pioneering days of the automobile industry. The reward was a stunning panoramic view of France’s Provence region at an altitude of 1,909 meters, and in all, the Mt. Ventoux Pikes Peak climb reached 4,301m.
Loeb who drove an aggressively liveried 208 T16 Pikes Peak at ‘Le Ventoux’ commented on his first non-WRC experience, “The Pikes Peak is very different from a nice, smooth race track. It’s not all about the power, but agility and car control.”
“It’s the speed at which the corners leaped out at you which was more striking than round a circuit where there’s always a ‘100-meter’ board to show you where to brake. Here, you could be in fifth or sixth gear and you’d suddenly see mountainside ahead of you; you’d have to work out for yourself where you needed to brake.” he added.
The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak has up to 875 hp and a whole lot of torque even on the steepest part of Mt. Ventoux, Loeb provided feedbacks about driving up ‘Le Ventoux’, “The steering was very, very responsive, so it was be a little hairy keeping your foot to the floor through the fast portions, After I got the hang of things by revising the steering configurations, I kept from the slightest imperfection on the uneven tracks which could unsettled the car in a hurry.”
The next step is the journey to Colorado for more testing on the course between 8 – 9, 14 – 16 June. After this final preparatory phase, the event will run in earnest from 24 – 30 June at the Colorado Springs, which is when Loeb and the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak hit the slopes to reach for the clouds.