With the outright Pikes Peak record well and truly in its pocket, Volkswagen set its sights on a much smaller hill to conquer this past weekend.
Competing in the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb with its insane ID R time attack machine, the bewinged monster topped the timesheets by nailing a 43.86sec run up Lord March’s famous driveway. Romain Dumas, former Le Mans 24 Hour champ, was the pilot.
By doing so, he and the I.D. R dispatched a 1993 Penske Indycar (46.78sec), Jaguar XJR 12D IMSA (46.66sec), Rod Millen’s Pikes Peak Toyota Celica (48.5sec), and an F3 car (48.31sec) along the 1.77km course this year.
Perhaps more importantly for Volkswagen, it elbowed out NIO’s EP9 supercar, which followed closely with a time of 44.32sec. Both cars, of course, are completely electric, with the I.D. R claiming rights as the fastest non-emissions vehicle ever on the hillclimb. The time to beat before was 47.34sec.
Although the ID R’s 500kW twin-motor all-wheel drivetrain gained none of the advantage it would over petrol engines in thin air during a 19.99km ‘Race To The Sky’, its 43.86sec was enough to become the third fastest winning time ever at Goodwood.
Only Graeme Wright Jnr. in a Gould GR51 open wheeler (42.90sec) and Nick Heidfeld in the McLaren MP4/13 Formula One machine (41.60sec) stand ahead of it. It came even closer to these times in a previous session to the shootout, setting an unofficial 43.05sec pass.
This put it out of reach for the NIO EP9, which was blisteringly quick considering its 800kg heavier kerb weight, but you’d be wrong to think Dumas had it easy taming the 1100kg ID R, which relies on a purpose-built aerodynamic package and chassis.
He frightened crowds after almost losing the 650Nm racer near the bridge on an earlier practice run before he gathered it up safely.
Despite its size, Dumas expressed his respect for the course after taking the win. “The hill climb track is short but often dirty and therefore you should definitely not underestimate it,” he said.
“In any case, it is a great honour to drive here at Goodwood. You meet so many fantastic drivers, and the cars and motorcycles here span a century of motorsport. It is one of a kind.”