Volkswagen and Romain Dumas made history at Pikes Peak this weekend. Not only did they beat the previous electric-only record by almost exactly a minute, but the VW I.D. R‘s 7:57.148 time is now the fastest ever at the event.
It’s a remarkable time, regardless of propulsion choice. When the I.D. R posted an insanely fast qualifying time earlier in the week, bench racers around the globe speculated it could be the first sub-eight car. It’s hard to believe: only five years ago, Sebastien Loeb’s 8:13.878, set in an 875hp Peugeot 208 made specifically for the event, seemed like the ultimate gauntlet.
Despite being down on power — and up on weight — the stars aligned for the I.D. R and Dumas. Dumas stormed the all-pavement, 12.42-mile run, meaning he averaged over 93mph. We’re not sure what weighs more; the batteries, or the cajones needed for such a run.
Thanks to the all-electric layout, the 670hp I.D. R didn’t suffer the usual power loss combustion engines deal with. As the finish line sits at 14,115ft above sea level, and nearly a mile up from the start, that’s important.
What’s also impressive is the relatively short time frame of the project. Just 250 days passed between Volkswagen’s initial Pikes Peak announcement and today’s record run.
An elated Dumas had this to say in a post-race press release:
“Awesome! We exceeded even our own high expectations with that result. 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. I still cannot believe that Volkswagen and my name are behind this incredible time. 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. The team did an indescribably meticulous, yet at the same time relaxed, job. Not only did we get the desired result, but the team spirit was also spot on. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it.”
With this record punctuating the 96th running of the PPIHC, Dumas becomes only the third driver to boast four (or more) overall wins since 1981. Will he return with Volkswagen to tie Rod Millen’s record of five next year? We can’t wait to find out!
Featured image courtesy of Volkswagen.