Do you love racing and innovation? Then MICHELIN certainly spoiled you last weekend! On Sunday June 24, 2018, Frenchman Romain Dumas won his 4th victory (his third consecutive win) in the legendary Pikes Peak race, the most famous hillclimb in the world held in Colorado (USA) every year since 1916. Most importantly, Romain Dumas smashed Sébastien Loeb’s all-category record from 2013. He is now the first driver to cross the finish line in less than 8 minutes, a legendary number...
A new all-category record
Romain Dumas swallowed up the 156 turns and 12.42 miles of the “Race to the Clouds”, the other name for Pikes Peak, in 7 minutes 57 seconds and 148 hundredths, a record time for all-category vehicles... Officially, this year Romain Dumas and Volkswagen were aiming for the electric car record for Pikes Peak, held since 2016 by New Zealander Rhys Millen, at 8 minutes 57 seconds, at an average speed of 81 mph.
Unofficially, Volkswagen and Dumas were after Sébastien Loeb’s record of 8 minutes and 13 seconds behind the wheel of his Peugeot 2018 T16 in 2013, at an average speed of 90 mph. And that car was racing on MICHELIN wheels too...
On his Twitter feed, the nine times World Rally champion congratulated Romain Dumas: ""What a great time! And congrats to the whole team!”".
He immediately threw down a new gauntlet: "payback is already set for September 23rd at la #montée des légendes". This race is to the summit of La Faucille in Jura, France.
DUMAS AND MICHELIN: SUCH A LONG HISTORY…
This new success for Romain Dumas and MICHELIN is part of a very long collaboration between the driver and the tire manufacturer. They already won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the FIA Endurance World Championship together in 2016 as well as the FIA RGT Rally World Cup.
Romain Dumas and MICHELIN at Pikes Peak? That’s not front page news. For his first Race to the Clouds, the man from Alès drove a Porsche 911 GT3 R already fitted with MICHELIN tires. He came second overall, 17 tiny hundredths of a second behind the winner, winning the Open category and voted the best ‘Rookie’ of the competition.
Since then, Romain Dumas has won the race three times: 2014, 2016 and 2017.
A third consecutive victory
2018 represented a new challenge for MICHELIN and Romain Dumas: a podium position for a 100% electric car, a fourth victory and a triple crown after 2016 and 2017. This year again, the French manufacturer was an easy choice for Romain:
“I’ve been working with MICHELIN for years, over a decade actually, and we have often won together. We have shared some extraordinary times! At Le Mans, of course, but also in the States. I always want to work with the very best and that is the case with MICHELIN. We are used to developing tires together. MICHELIN has incomparable experience and also knows Pikes Peak very well. Which is a decisive factor. I'm delighted to have faced this challenge with Volkswagen and MICHELIN and I'm sure that there are many more ahead."
"MICHELIN is delighted to once again be alongside Romain Dumas in a prestigious race that is followed the world over: Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Race after race, a trusting relationship has grown between MICHELIN and Romain Dumas. On one hand, a French champion benefits from the performance and technical prowess of our tires, and on the other, we collect his feedback which is key to the progress of our tire ranges. Whether he’s racing on the track, in an historic or modern rally or climbing Pikes Peak, MICHELIN is a passionate supporter of Romain Dumas!"
VOLKSWAGEN I.D. R PROTOTYPE
The I.D. R Pikes Peak is much more than a simple competition car, Volkswagen explains. This prototype is a technological jewel and a test lab on wheels for electrical cars called ID that Volkswagen will launch on the market from 2020. The idea behind taking part in this race is to acquire new knowledge by submitting the vehicle to extreme conditions and then apply the new information to mass production.
Pikes Peak: extreme conditions
As a reminder, Pikes Peak starts at 9,390 feet and the race finishes around 4,720 feet higher. The difference in altitude and therefore air pressure is such that it influences the power of engines and tires, especially combustion engines. This altitude also generates constantly changing weather conditions, with variable sun exposure that can distract the drivers. Because of the power of these vehicles and the track, particularly dusty and slippery, the cars are fitted with huge spoilers in the front and rear, to keep them grounded. These appendages have become a kind of signature for vehicles taking part in the race.
I.D. R Pikes Peak: extraordinary performances
The I.D.R Pikes Peak is the best car I’ve ever driven on this.
The result is here with the I.D. R Pikes Peak, a unique competition car with powerful front and rear spoilers that were designed to generate maximum aerodynamic down-force. Two electric engines power the front and rear axles, for a total 680hp. Electric energy is stored in a lithium-ion battery divided into two blocks which are located next to and behind the cockpit. Around 20% of the energy required is generated on board by recuperating braking energy. Hence the importance of being able to count on excellent tires. “We made some fundamental discoveries about energy management and load, which will certainly influence the development of the I.D. family,” explains Willy Rampf, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport.