Peugeot has partnered with Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sebastien Loeb to conquer Pikes Peak in the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado on June 30th. The European automaker has been pushing an international offensive in motorsports, especially with the new Peugeot 208, which it has successfully been globalizing. Last year, the company closed its endurance racing program and most believed that it meant the company was out of racing altogether. Their entry into Pikes Peak proves otherwise.
This will not be Peugeot’s first race to the clouds in Colorado. The company took Pikes Peak triumph with the 205 T16 and 405 T16 – the latter a record-breaking victory in 1988 by driver Ari Vatanen and celebrated by the film Climb Dance. The next year, Peugeot won again, this time with driver Robby Unser.
Last year, the Pikes Peak course was asphalted, making the race much different than it has been previously. It comprises 156 turns over a distance of 20 kilometers, starting at 2,800 meters above sea level and ending at over 4,300 meters. The Hill Climb is a notoriously difficult challenge and is the second-oldest motorsport competition in the U.S. after the Indianapolis 500.
The Peugeot 208 T16 will be racing as number 208 in the Unlimited class – the most competitive of the race classes at Pikes Peak. Sebastian Loeb is on loan from the Citroen racing program for this one-off race and will very likely be one of the top names on the race roster at the climb.