The power of electric motoring is on rude display at Pikes Peak again this year, with Volkswagen's 680-hp (507-kW) I.D. R setting a blistering qualifying time, 11 seconds clear of any other competitor, with reigning champion Romaine Dumas at the wheel. Dumas qualified in 3:16:083 minutes, 11.049 seconds ahead of second-placed Simone Faggioli in his gasoline-powered Norma M20 SF PKP, and the remaining 62 cars in the field.
Qualifying at Pikes Peak only runs the first 5.15 mi (8.3 km) of the 12.4-mi (20km) course, so if Dumas' advantage holds up on race day, he's got an excellent chance to wipe the floor on Sunday morning and pull an even bigger gap.
"The I.D. R. Pikes Peak is incredible," said Dumas after qualifying, "I have never experienced acceleration and power like that in a racing car. I am noticing how the car and I are becoming more and more of a unit with every kilometer."
The Volkswagen team will get first crack at the fabulously scenic and dangerous Pikes Peak course on Sunday morning, where they'll gun for the EV record of 8:57.118, set in 2016 by Rhys Millen driving the e0 PP100.
The outright course record, though, is still in the hands of the combustion engine. Rally legend Sébastien Loeb punted a Peugeot 208 T16 up the course in a blistering 8:13:878 minutes back in 2013. That's 43-odd seconds faster than anyone's ever managed before or since, and a record that's going to be very, very tough to break.
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