In the world of racing, records are made and broken with a difference of just a few seconds. But this year at Pikes Peak, a record has been broken historically. Sebastien Loeb is a name which is worthy of being immortalized in the history of WRC (World Rallying Championship). He has won this championship 9 times. This year he has created a new record at Pikes Peak which out does the previous by a whole 1 and a half minutes.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is the 2nd oldest racing championship in America. It is also called as the ” The Race To The Clouds”. The final destination of the race is the Pikes Peak in the Colorado range. The entire track is approximately 20 km long with over 156 turns and an elevation of more than 4 km. The first race was held in the year 1916 and has continued since then.
For this race, Sebastien Loeb had the companionship of a very special car. Peugeot had designed a car specially for this event for Loeb. The car with a power output of 875 bhp, Peugeot 208 T16 was dedicatedly designed and developed for this rally. During the practice sessions the performance of Sebastien with this car was so brilliant that it was certain that this year the race will be won by him. To everyone’s surprise Sebastien completed the race 2 seconds before the estimated time of the car.
The previous record for the Pikes Peak open was set by Romain Dumas when he finished the race in 9:46:181. This record has now been beaten by Sebastien Loeb with a finishing time of 8:13:878. This is almost 1 and half minutes under the previous record.
Sebastien, after his victory, said, “I’m really happy as that was a very good run in the end. I really didn’t expect anything better than 8m15s, so to do 8m13s was fantastic.
Before the start I didn’t really know if I should push absolutely to the maximum or if I should just push to a comfortable pace, in order to make sure of the victory. In the end, I decided to push to the limit.”
Another tough contender for the race at Pikes Peak was Rhys Millen who also had a power pact car specifically designed for this event. This car, by Honda, was even more powerful, offering an output of 900 bhp. In spite of this, Rhys could cross the finish line 43 seconds after Sebastien, gaining the 2nd spot at the event. Over this Rhys showed some great sportsman spirit saying that “I think it’s fair to say that we were racing for second place today. You have to hand it to Loeb and Peugeot: they were unbeatable. That time they set was simply incredible. When will it be beaten? It might never be…”