Loeb at the wheel for Peugeot’s Pikes Peak return

Peugeot has announced ambitious plans to win the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb in an unlimited class Peugeot 208 T16 with reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb at the wheel.To be run on 30 June, the spectacular event, also known as ‘The Race to the Clouds’, is a hill climb to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado. It has taken place since 1916, making it the second oldest motorsport event in America.The route used to consist of both gravel and paved sections, but was entirely asphalted last year. It comprises 156 turns – often with sheer drops over the edge – over a distance of 20 kilometres and climbs from an altitude of 2,800 metres to 4,300 metres at the summit.Peugeot has five World Rally Championship titles to its name (1985, 1986, 2000, 2001 and 2002) and has won Pikes Peak twice before, with the 205 T16 and 405 T16 Pikes Peak specials.
Ari Vatanen’s record-breaking victory on the 1988 event in the 405 T16 is documented by the celebrated film, ‘Climb Dance’. Peugeot won the hill climb a second time in 1989, this time with the USA’s Robby Unser behind the wheel.
Peugeot’s all-new 208 T16 Pikes Peak has been entered in the premier ‘Unlimited’ class and has been given the start number ‘208’. The top-secret car is scheduled to be revealed in the middle of April – and you can expect it to look rather different to the rendering Peugeot issued today [pictured].
Maxime Picat, Director General Automobiles Peugeot said: “Our objective is to win, so we needed to stack up as many cards as possible in our favour by joining forces with the very best partners for this unique project, namely Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sebastien Loeb.
“Indeed, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Citroën for this one-off ‘loan’ of its exceptional champion. Citroën’s support is emblematic of the cohesion that reigns within the PSA Peugeot Citroën Group, “ he added.
The former boss of the Suzuki World Rally Team, Nobuhiro Tajima, is the current record holder in the unlimited class. In 2011 the Japanese driver recorded a time of 9min 51.278sec driving a Suzuki SX4.