Currently reading: Sébastien Loeb routs all comers at Pikes Peak 2013 - picture gallery
World Rally Champion, Sébastien Loeb adds another accolade to his roll of honour with an astonishing win at Pikes Peak

In a display of driving supremacy that will surely have implications for the way America's second oldest motorsport event is run in future, nine times WRC champion Sébastien Loeb yesterday slashed a staggering 92 seconds - or nearly six per cent - off the time for cars in the Unlimited class at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, near Colorado Springs. 

Driving a specially built four-wheel-drive Peugeot 208 T16 on the 25th anniversary of Ari Vartanen's fondly remembered victory there in a 405 T16, Loeb recorded a time of 8min 13.878sec for the 12.4-mile course which rises 5000 feet, has 156 corners and at times has sheer drops of 2000ft beside the road. Hillclimbs have been held in the course since 1916.

Loeb, who was seconded from Citroën for this one event, was driving a car specially built for the event in four months, using proven components from Peugeot's 908 Le Mans cars. It has a steel spaceframe chassis, a mid-mounted 3.2-litre twin-turbocharged petrol V6, a six-speed four-wheel-drive transaxle, torsion-bar double wishbone suspension front and rear and carbonfibre racing brakes. The extraordinary power-to-weight and traction give the car 0-62mph acceleration of 1.8 seconds, and a 0-150mph time of 7.0 sec. 

Commenting on Loeb's performance, the managing director of Peugeot Sport, Bruno Famine, described Loeb as "an exceptional driver; one of the few in the world who could extract full performance out of this car". He said though Pikes Peak experts had predicted a time below nine minutes, Peugeot's own calculations had shown "the ideal time" was the one Loeb recorded. 

Peugeot says it will look for future one-off activities for the 208 T16, though it has nothing planned as yet. Global head of marketing Guillaume Couzy says the company would like to display the car at this year's Goodwood Festival of Speed, but final arrangements are yet to be made.

The top three results from some of the most popular classes can be found below:

Unlimited Class

1st - Sébastian Loeb - 8:13.878; 2nd - Rhys Millen - 9:02.192; 3rd - Jean-Philippe Dayraut - 9:42.740

Time Attack

1st - Paul dallenback - 9:46.001; 2nd - David Donner - 9:53.581; 3rd - Jeff Zwart - 10:13.856


1st - Nobuhiro Tajima - 9:46.530; 2nd - Hiroshi Masuoka - 10:21.866; 3rd - Greg Tracy - 10:23.649

Exhibition Powersports

1st - Carlin Dunne - 10:00.694; 2nd - Jake Holden - 10:24.058; 3rd - James Compton - 10:33.832

Pikes Peak 450

1st - Jeffrey Tigert - 10:32.964; 2nd - Davey Durelle - 10:38.697; 3rd - Dan Berendes - 10:56.724

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Heavyweight Supermoto

1st - Jeff Grace - 10:57.928; 2nd - Joseph Bernard Toner - 11:04.319; 3rd - Eric Piscione - 11:05.278

Open Wheel

1st - Clint Vahsholtz - 11:07.305; 2nd - Donner Billingsley - 12:06.840; 3rd - Rodney O'Maley - 12:22.250

Pikes Peak Superbike 750

1st - Michael Henao - 10:31.499; 2nd - James McKay - 11:09.460; 3rd - Erik Dunshee - 11.42.837



Steve Cropley

Steve Cropley Autocar
Title: Editor-in-chief

Steve Cropley is the oldest of Autocar’s editorial team, or the most experienced if you want to be polite about it. He joined over 30 years ago, and has driven many cars and interviewed many people in half a century in the business. 

Cropley, who regards himself as the magazine’s “long stop”, has seen many changes since Autocar was a print-only affair, but claims that in such a fast moving environment he has little appetite for looking back. 

He has been surprised and delighted by the generous reception afforded the My Week In Cars podcast he makes with long suffering colleague Matt Prior, and calls it the most enjoyable part of his working week.

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fadyady 1 July 2013

Record shredding performance

That pretty much makes Sébastien Loeb the Usain Bolt of motoring.

whatstandwell 1 July 2013

Dodgy maths

You're underestimating the scale of this thrashing of the record, nearer 15%!

antwan 1 July 2013


Please put this into production. A fun Pug at last - its has been a while since the 306 Gti-6...