Every summer, thousands of fans head up a winding mountain called Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. An elite group of drivers prepare for the challenge that awaits as they try to race up the 14,000 foot peak named for explorer Zebulon Pike. Thanks to Red Bull and its Red Bulletin magazine, we have been granted an early sneak peak at the amazing 39 year old French driver Sebastien Loeb smashing the record June 30th at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which is also known as ‘The Race to the Clouds’.
As of 2012, the road is now completely paved and if you were willing to drive up the 14 mile track that is part of Pikes Peak Highway, it might take you about 45 minutes to ascend over 9,000 feet from warm comfortable temperatures below to sleet and snow at the top. Just don’t look down along the way. However, to compare a regular driver like yourself to the great rally driver Loeb is no comparison – he soared up the hill in an elapsed time of 8 minutes and 13.878 seconds, breaking the record by a minute and a half.
Catches your breath
If you’re scared of heights, you may not want to watch this breath-taking video from Red Bull of Loeb’s entire record run up Pikes Peak.
The Red Bulletin story will offer a look into how Loeb obliterated the existing record and those who came before him – there are only five other drivers who had broken the 10 minute mark, including the past record holder Rhys Millen of New Zealand. Along with how and whose records Loeb shattered, Red Bulletin gives a bit of insight into what his purpose-built twin-turbo V6 Peugeot is about. By the way, at this event, three other drivers including Millen also beat Rhys' record.
Retiring on top
Loeb will be retiring this year as a one-of-a-kind sensation and the record run up Pikes Peak is the cherry atop of an illustrious career driving in the World Rally Championship. The interview of Loeb (at the top of this article) after practice at Pikes Peak is very informative.
The Red Bulletin account of Sebastien Loeb’s astonishing record solidifies him as rally’s all-time great. You can take a look at the slide show of exclusive pictures from Pikes Peak right now before they’re out to the public, which will be at the end of August.
Thanks again to Red Bull for permitting this special early access.
Source: Red Bulletin