THE Volkswagen ID R has set a scintillating 7:57.148 time in the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with Romain Dumas piloting the battery-electric racer to a new outright record for the event.
It is the first time anyone has completed the 19.99km climb, which includes 156 turns, in fewer than eight minutes.
Dumas achieved the record-breaking time on only his first full run up the mountain in the bespoke, fully electric ID R, with the winning run delayed by 45 minutes following a crash that injured a spectator earlier in the day.
According to Dumas, the sub-8.0 minute time could have been even better.
“I had some fog and it was quite humid with some damp in the second section,” he said from the summit. “I’m happy with this, but we could have gone quicker if that middle sector had been dry.”
The record Dumas obliterated was a 8:13.878, set by Sebastian Loeb in the 208 T16 in 2013.
VW’s ID R is the first fully electric car to hold the outright Pikes Peak record, recording an average speed of 150km/h on its ascent up the mountain.
Volkswagen had originally targeted the electric record of 8:57.118 for its ID R racer, but the German manufacturer realised during early qualification runs that an attempt at Loeb’s outright record would be possible.
Dumas and Volkswagen’s win is unofficial until tomorrow, when finalised times are released.
Meanwhile, in the French countryside Lewis Hamilton cruised to a comfortable F1 victory at Paul Ricard.
It was the first grand prix held in France in a decade, and the Mercedes-AMG driver was able to control the race following a first-lap clash between Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas.
The second- and third-place qualifiers’ first corner crash allowed Max Verstappen to slot into second place, where he stayed until the race’s end.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen stole third place from Australian Daniel Ricciardo in the dying laps, with the Finn using fresher tyres to his advantage.
Vettel, who dropped to second last following the first-lap shunt that also earned him a five-second penalty, fought his way through the field to finish the grand prix in fifth.