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Back in 2013 Sébastien Loeb shattered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record with a breath-taking time of 8m13.878s in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak.
Negotiating the 156 corners of the 20km mountain course at an average speed of 145kph, Loeb blitzed the previous best of 9m46.164s, set by Rhys Millen in 2012, with the top three finishers all beating the 2012 record.
“For me, this was the race of the year,” said Loeb at the finish line 4,300m high in the Rocky Mountains. “At the beginning of my run there was a bit of pressure because I knew there was so much work and investment from Peugeot and all the partners. Now, after all the practice, it was just down to me and I had to perform.”
After a delay due to threatening weather, Loeb was first to run in the Unlimited class cars, unleashing his 875hp car on the race to the clouds. “When I was on the start line waiting to go, I could actually see the clouds closing in at the top of the mountain,” said Loeb. “I remember thinking that if we didn’t get going soon, it would be really difficult.”
In fact Loeb blasted his 208 T16 Pikes Peak through the clouds quicker than even Peugeot Sport’s computer had thought possible. The ideal theoretical time – calculated using data from Loeb’s practice runs – was 8m15s. The nine-time world rally champion somehow managed to shave two seconds off that.
“I’m really happy as that was a very good run in the end,” said Loeb. “I really didn’t expect anything better than 8m15s, so to do 8m13s was fantastic.
“Before the start I didn’t really know if I should push absolutely to the maximum or if I should just push to a comfortable pace, in order to make sure of the victory. In the end, I decided to push to the limit.”
The result was spectacular, with Loeb now joining the pantheon of Pikes Peak winners; nearly one year to the day after he first conquered America by winning the rally cross finale of the X Games on July 1, 2012.
We asked Seb himself to re-watch the clip and provide some commentary of the epic world record winning run. Sit back end enjoy the ride!#pikespeak #hillclimb #peugeot
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