Nine-time World Rally Champion, Sebastien Loeb, is certainly not taking it easy in his first year of “retirement.” He has already competed in three WRC races in 2013, winning two of them. He also races in the Porsche Supercup and at the end of June he will make an attempt at the Unlimited Class record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Sebastien Loeb took his first runs up the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb course in Colorado, as he and his Peugeot Sport team attended the event’s first official practice session. Loeb’s assault on Pikes Peak marks a return to the event for Peugeot. Peugeot last competed at the event in 1988. The Peugeot Sport 208 T16 he will be driving is a purpose-built, carbon fiber, 4-wheel drive, 875-hp, mid-engine racecar.
Loeb will be tackling the full course on June 30th in his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, but he was only allowed to take on the lower part of the course during the initial practice sessions. Daniel Elena, the man who assisted Loeb in each of his nine World Rally Championships as his co-driver, was also on hand to help prepare pace notes for Loeb ahead of his solo runs.
“It’s been a highly positive morning,” said Loeb after the course was shut down and the tourists were allowed back onto the hill. “We didn’t have to make any changes to the 208 T16 Pikes Peak’s basic set-up and it felt very competitive.”
“I feel very confident with the car,” Loeb added. “That’s a reassuring start, if only because of the speeds we get up to here. We are already getting close to the limit in many places. All we need to do now is make some detail changes and we will be ready for the big day.”
Peugeot were kind enough to film its construction, which you can see in the attached time-lapse video:
This week’s Pikes Peak test schedule:
– Friday, June 14 (free practice): 5:30am-8:30am (local time)
– Saturday, June 15 & Sunday, June 16 (free practice): 5:30am-8:30am (local time)
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