Loeb and Peugeot went a minute and a half under the Pikes Peak hill record
Crowds gathered early on to see Loeb attempt a new course record
The Peugeot 208 T16 could be entered for future one-off events
The 208 T16 has a specially-built four-wheel drive system
Loeb set his record on the 25th anniversary of Ari Vartanen's victory in a 405 T16
Loeb was on secondment from Citroen for this event
Loeb mastered the 156-turn course over the weekend
The 208 T16 was built inside four months
Commentators wait to announce Loeb's results
The times were unclear for a few minutes after Loeb's run
But news quickly spreads of the newly-smashed course time
Red Bull branding was prominent at the event
The hillclimb gives a chance for rallying and motorsport legends to ride once more
Cars compete in a number of different classes - Loeb was in the Unlimited class
Open wheel and electric cars are also allowed to compete
Mitsubishi bought along its new iMiev Evolution II to smash Toyota's EV course record
Bikes and sidecars are also allowed to run the course
Over the course of the weekend hundreds of cars have taken their turn up the hill
The 12.4-mile course rises over 5000 feet, with air thin at the top
This was the 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb - and racers are already looking forward to next year
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:
1st - Sébastian Loeb - 8:13.878; 2nd - Rhys Millen - 9:02.192; 3rd - Jean-Philippe Dayraut - 9:42.740
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
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
1st - Jeff Grace - 10:57.928; 2nd - Joseph Bernard Toner - 11:04.319; 3rd - Eric Piscione - 11:05.278
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