Peugeot driver Sébastian Loeb dominated qualifying for this weekend's Pikes Peak hillclimb event.
The Frenchman – a nine-time WRC champion – posted a 3min 26.728sec time over the 5.1-mile qualifying course, placing him 23 seconds ahead of rival Romain Dumas. The full competition track the drivers will face on Sunday is much longer at 12.42 miles, and features over 150 turns.
Dumas, who finished second in last year’s event in a Porsche 911 GT3 R, is competing in the Unlimited class of the race in a Norma prototype racer.
However, Loeb said he wasn’t reading too much into his advantage: “It's not like a race, qualifying isn't really a crucial part of what goes on here.
"It's how you perform on the day that counts. You have to rely on your own skills but also the car, the weather and the road conditions as well.
"Anything can still happen, but obviously we're here to try and win: that's our mission and we'll be disappointed if we don't achieve it. So far we've got off to a really good start."
This year marks the 91st running of the Pikes Peak hillclimb. Previous winners include Swedish rally legend Stig Blomqvist and Nobuhiro Tajima, who won the event consecutively from 2005 to 2011. Cars race in different classes including open wheel, super stock car and the recently-added electric class.
Stay tuned to Autocar.co.uk for all the latest from Pikes Peak.