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Pikes Peak - 30 Jun 13

Posted: June 8, 2015 5:05 PM - 1427 Hits

Video: Loeb wins Pikes Peak and breaks Record

Posted: June 8, 2015 5:05 PM

Sebastien Loeb and the 208 T16 Pikes Peak: Aiming for the Colorado clouds!

Posted: June 8, 2015 4:55 PM

Always ready to rise to a fresh challenge, the nine-time world rally champion S'bastien Loeb and Peugeot Sport will contest the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 30.

The Frenchman will tackle the world's highest hill climb - which culminates at an altitude of 4,301 metres - at the wheel of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak which was specially engineered and built by Peugeot Sport. The event marks the French team's return to the classic American event after its memorable victories there in 1988 and 1989.

The announcement of this ambitious project three weeks ago caused something of a buzz in motorsport circles, and the time has now come for the next phase of this exciting adventure: the unveiling of the machine with which S'bastien Loeb will target victory in Colorado. Although its exterior styling resembles that of the production model, the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak was tailor engineered and designed to meet the specific needs of the famous American event.

No punches have been pulled with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak which will compete in the event's premier 'Unlimited' class, a category that allows plenty of freedom on the technical front. The engineers have naturally taken on-board the salient features of this legendary competition, the USA's oldest after the Indy 500 and a truly unique cocktail because of its incredibly twisty, high-altitude course.

That said, Peugeot can count on the considerable experience it gained of the so-called 'Race to the Clouds' with the 405 T16 which claimed back-to-back victories in 1988 and 1989, in the hands of Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser respectively. S'bastien Loeb counts among those who were struck by the film 'Climb Dance' which was produced to commemorate Vatanen's resounding success.

Now that he has taken a step back from world class rallying after dominating the World Rally Championship for almost a decade, S'bastien Loeb is keen to turn his attention to new challenges. In addition to his involvement in this year's GT World Series, he snapped up the opportunity to contest the celebrated Pikes Peak Hill Climb and discover its 156 corners which he will tackle without the help of a co-driver. The Frenchman will also have to cope with a strength-sapping altitude difference of some 1,500 metres in less than 20 kilometres, with the finish line situated at an altitude of 4,301 metres!

The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak breaks cover!

Aggressive, racy, ferocious even... These are some of the adjectives that describe the awesome Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak which is poised to take up the challenge of the world's highest motorsport event on June 30!

The car which S'bastien Loeb will drive in Colorado boasts a highly distinctive design:
"Its proportions are very different to those of the production 208," observes Michael Trouv' who is in charge of silhouette design at Peugeot's Styling Centre. "This difference gives it an almost beast-like appearance. Peugeot Sport provided us with a number of technical constraints, such as the width, body height, location of the wheels and engine, and we worked to this brief to produce an extreme take on the 208."

The work of Michael Trouv' and his colleague Attila Bocsi has resulted in a car with a unique stance.
"The cars which represent the brand in motorsport have always tended to feature sculpted forms which combine style and aerodynamic efficiency. The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is no exception, and it incorporates all the distinctive hallmarks of the 208 which itself marks a new generation of Peugeot design," says Michael. "I am very proud to have played a part in this adventure, especially since we didn't have much time to work on the car's design, because the green light was only given in November and the project wasn't signed-off until February."

The car's aerodynamics naturally haven't been sacrificed in the name of style. Based just a few kilometres from Peugeot Sport, the team of stylists was able follow the different build phases: "The rear wing, which is that of the Le Mans 24 Hours-winning 908, and the splitter are two features of the car which give it its beast-like attitude. And I am amazed by the beauty of the parts concealed by the carbon bodywork!"

All that remains now is to discover the performance potential 208 T16 Pikes Peak and its final livery. Be patient, all will soon be revealed!

PIKES PEAK: A LEGENDARY RACE

The discovery of a gold seam in the middle of the Colorado Mountains in July 1858 sparked off the arrival in the Pikes Peak region of some 100,000 fortune-hunters looking to fulfil their dreams. Numerous disillusionments later, the mountain has since recovered its former tranquillity and is today a designated National Historic Landmark. Yet the peace of Pikes Peak is broken once a year by an invasion every bit as boisterous as the infamous Gold Rush.

When a trail to the summit was completed in 1916, a new generation of adventurers flocked to the site looking for a different type of glory, and today more than 150 drivers get behind the wheel in a host of sometimes implausible vehicles to take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the world's highest competition of its sort and America's oldest motorsport fixture apart from the Indy 500. The principle behind the so-called 'Race to the Clouds' is simple and involves each competitor taking turns to drive the 20km course that twists its way along the mountain's flanks to reach its summit at 4,301 metres in the shortest time possible!

The start line is located at an altitude of 2,800 metres, which means that competitors face an altitude difference of some 1,500 metres. Meanwhile, the lack of oxygen is a challenge not only for the engines - which can lose up to 30 per cent of their power - but also for the drivers who must remained fully focused on the 156 cliff-lined corners... It is an exercise which calls for dexterity and meticulous preparation, as well as a little luck!

Over the years, the dirt trail has been gradually paved and the 2012 event was the first to take place entirely on asphalt. Unsurprisingly, last year's competition produced a new outright record for the course when Rhys Millen (Hyundai Genesis Coup') produced a 9m 46.164s, half the time required for the first ascension in 1916!

The entry is broken down into more than 20 classes covering vehicles as varied as cars, bikes, sidecars and trucks. The premier category is the 'Unlimited' class in which S'bastien Loeb's Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak will compete. A number of official test sessions are organised to enable competitors to familiarise themselves with the course, but only one section at a time. The only opportunity they get to tackle the route in one go is when they do it for real on the day!

PEUGEOT RETURNS TO PIKES PEAK

Posted: June 8, 2015 4:52 PM

Peugeot has announced that Frenchman S'bastien Loeb, nine times world rally champion, is set to contest the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the new Peugeot 208 T16 in Colorado, USA, on June 30th this year. Peugeot's bid to win the unique, Colorado Springs-based event with the new 208 T16 Pikes Peak has seen the company joining forces with key partners Total, Red Bull and Michelin. The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, to be unveiled in mid-April, has been entered in the premier 'Unlimited' class and has been given the start number '208'. Its sole objective is victory.

Exactly 100 years ago Peugeot notched up its first racing victory, at Indianapolis, the oldest motorsport competition in the USA and the first of a very long list of successes for Peugeot in some of motorsport's most mythical events. The company's sporting prowess became an integral part of its DNA.

Peugeot's previous participation in the epic Pikes Peak race saw the Brand triumph with the legendary 205 T16 and 405 T16 Pikes Peak. Ari Vatanen's unforgettable record-breaking victory in the 1988 event in the 405 T16 is documented by the celebrated film, 'Climb Dance'. Peugeot won the famous hill climb a second time in 1989, this time with the USA's Robby Unser behind the wheel.

Pikes Peak today remains one of motorsport's most exacting, internationally-reputed competitions. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb's course was entirely covered in tarmac last year and comprises 156 turns over a distance of 20 kilometres that take competitors from an altitude of 2,800 metres to

4,300 metres at its highest point. The event is famous, too, as the USA's second-oldest motorsport competition after Indianapolis and, over the decades, it has earned a reputation as a notoriously difficult and complex challenge.

To maximise its chances of winning the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak, Peugeot has enlisted the support of the very best partners for this exceptional project, namely Total, Red Bull, Michelin and S'bastien Loeb. The nine-time world rally champion was able to accept Peugeot's proposal thanks to Citro'n which has authorised its star driver to contest the American event for the first time in his career.

The new Peugeot 208 has enjoyed strong sales since it was launched in mid-2012: 300,000 units manufactured up to end-February 2013. The 208 GTi is currently being launched across Europe to much applaud and the compact 2008 Crossover will complete the 208 range this summer. Peugeot's commercial successes have historically been accompanied by success in motorsport. The decision to take on the challenge of the extraordinary, mythical, exacting Pikes Peak competition, which helped to forge the Brand's reputation in the late 1980s, fits perfectly with the Peugeot Brand's international growth drive.

Event Website / Details

Posted: June 8, 2015 4:51 PM

Topics: Pikes Peak 

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