Find out why every motorsport legend wants to touch the sky at Pikes Peak.
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Travis Pastrana and Romain Dumas take us to the clouds at America’s epic hillclimb, where staying alive is a victory in itself.
Imagine gluing the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife race track to the side of a 4,300m (14,100 ft) mountain in the American Rockies, and then using that road as an annual time trail race with just a few crash barriers and a scattering of bales to break the near-vertical drops to the valleys below.
In reality, you take on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with little more than a wing (a large one for grip) and a prayer.
Ever since, the millionaire manufacturers have headed back to go face to face against locals operating on budgets that would barely buy you a family car. In 2014, former WRC champion Sébastian Loeb set a seemingly unbeatable record time of 8m 13s in a Red Bull-backed Peugeot 208.
When Volkswagen turned up in Colorado this year with a four-wheel drive electric car boasting the equivalent of 700bhp, Millen was first to say what many people were thinking about the I.D R and its driver, former Le Mans and Pikes Peak winner Romain Dumas. “I think we’ll not only see my electric record go, but also the eight minute record be broken,” said the New Zealander, who was on the mountain in a production Bentley Bentayga for a crack at Range Rover’s course SUV record.
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