’s electric has obliterated the International Hillclimb record, with ex-Porsche WEC driver becoming the first driver to make the climb in under eight minutes.

 

 

Prior to setting the record, Dumas got one step closer to taking the overall record by setting the fastest time on a shortened qualifying route. Prior to Sunday’s historic record, Sebastien Loeb’s 2013 time of 8m13.878 seconds was the quickest ever set in the bespoke 3.2-litre twin-turbo Peugeot 208.

 

Dumas admits that not everything went to plan in making Pikes Peak history.

 

“I had some fog and it was quite humid with some damp in the second section,” Dumas told Autosport.

 

“I’m happy with this, but we could have gone quicker if that middle sector had been dry.”

 

 

The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two electric engines, generating a system capacity of 500 kW (680 hp). Like most production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system and places huge demand on the battery cells, but unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motor sport engineers was not maximum range, but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit.

 

Roughly 20 percent of the electric energy required is generated during the 20-kilometre drive. The key here is energy recovery: When braking, the electric engines, which in this case operate as generators, convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.

 

 

Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets was ecstatic with the result.

 

“I am so happy for this team and really proud of them. We all worked so hard for this”, he told Autosport.

 

“For Romain, this is incredible. Don’t forget this was the first time he drove the whole course in this car. In testing, he never had a clean run from the bottom to the top. Waiting for 45 minutes to start the run was so stressful,” he said. “I don’t want to go through that again. And then the timing went down and we had no sector times, it felt like it was taking one hour!”

 

 

 

Image: Volkswagen