As expected (and highly anticipated), Sebastian Loeb managed a spectacular record run in the 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In the Peugeot 208 T16 (875 hp, 875 kg), he beat the previous record time by over a minute and a half: 8.13.878 (previous record: 2012, Rhys Millen 9.46.164, Hyundai Genesis)
Its a great run, I love the on-boards for Pikes Peak and very well done to Loeb.
But I have to ask, how recent has it been all tarmac? It can’t have been that long ago right? That must make a massive difference since it used to be a heavy about of gravel going up the peak, which surely makes for a quicker time. I suppose that in times like this safety is a massive concern, and rightly so, but it just feels like its yet another classic race has been “sanitised”.
It used to consist of both gravel and paved sections, however as of August 2011, the highway is fully paved and as a result all subsequent runnings will be on tarmac from start to finish. [...] The 2011 running was the last running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb that had dirt sections of the course, for approximately 30% of the route, as Colorado Springs is being forced by a Sierra Club lawsuit to pave the road all the way to the summit. The paving project was completed in August, 2011.