Loeb and Pikes Peak Unlimited Racers are looking for sub-9 minute runs

pikes peak peugeot sebastien loeb

The 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb action continues to ratchet up.  TFLcar team joined the press conference event yesterday to say hello and talk with the racers about the upcoming race on Sunday, June 30th.  All the big names were in attendance: Sebastien Loeb, Rhys Millen, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, and too many others to list here.  This race is growing every year and it was evident by the number of racers, staff, and media at the press event.

This is the second year that the entire road surface is paved and this is drawing more interest from motorsports stars from around the world.  It’s also raising expectations and promising to shatter all previous records.  It was only two years ago, that Monster Tajima was able to break the elusive 10 minute mark up Pikes Peak.  Last year, four more racers were quicker than 10 minutes.  What are the drivers targeting for this year?  Well, how about under 9 minutes!

Rhys Millen is the current record holder with a 2012 time of 9:46.164.  So, sub-9 minute run this year would be a huge improvement.  It does not seem possible.  Of course, the weather must cooperate in order for the records to fall.  Recent weather has been generally good and welcoming, but Pikes Peak has been known to throw a few surprises.  It’s not uncommon to see very high winds and even falling snow near the top.

If any man can break the 9 minute barrier this year, it would be the 9-time World Rally Champion – Sebastien Loeb.  Loeb has been on top of practice and qualifying runs by a significant margin.  He has the full force of the Peugeot factory racing team behind him.  His alcohol fed Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak special is fast and mean.  Loeb told us the car is 900 horsepower for 900 kilograms (or just over 2 pounds per horsepower).   For comparison, a 640 horsepower SRT Viper has a power ratio of over 5 pounds per horsepower.

Enjoy these TFLcar insider videos of the 2013 PPIHC:

Andre Smirnov
Andre Smirnov

Andre Smirnov is a life-long automotive enthusiast, writer, reporter, and software engineer. He has been a contributor at TFLcar since 2011. When not working or spending time with the family – you can find him tinkering in the garage or simply going ‘for a drive’.