Peugeot accomplishes French dress rehearsal with 208 T16 Pikes Peak
The 208 T16 Pikes Peak ventured to the south of France to stretch its legs, this being the first time to have been tested outside the confines of Peugeot Sport’s factory or a closely guarded circuit. This provided Sebastien Loeb and the team with a chance to perform a dress rehearsal before June’s trip to the USA for the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado.
The car was taken to Mont Ventoux in the south of France which is as famous as the Tour de France cycle race. It is a truly classic climb and could be said to ‘sort the men out from the boys’. “You’ve got a much bigger chance of seeing me drive to the top in a car than on a bike,” quipped the reigning world rally champion Sebastien Loeb before the test.
In 1902, even before the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was organised for the first time, the most advanced vehicles of the day would compete at Mont Ventoux, the last six kilometers are simply breathtaking, and Peugeot are lucky to have this to use on their doorstep.
Sebastien Loeb commented, “This is an important run because Pikes Peak is very different from a nice, smooth race track, it is vital for us to evaluate the car on a terrain that is more like what we will find in the States. This road will give us a reasonably accurate idea…”
With a power output of 875 horsepower, this car is no ordinary beast. “The steering is still very, very responsive, so it can be a little hairy keeping your foot to the floor though the fast portions,” observed the French driver. “On wide slicks like this and at the sort of speeds I am getting up to, the slightest imperfection in the road surface really unsettles the car.” A switch to softer Michelin tyres and revised calibration for the steering helped to improve the situation.
The event will take place from 24th June until 30th June, which is when Sebastien and the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak car will at last get their chance to reach for the clouds for real!