Preview: Loeb prowls Pikes Peak
12 June 2013, 11:45
Colorado - World Rally Champ Sebastien Loeb setup camp on the Colorado mountain
during the first Pikes Peak practice sessions ahead of the 2013 Hill
The race director warned drivers to take extra care during
the morning briefs since water from melting snow had frozen overnight.
Pikes Peak caps at an altitude of 4.3km and this part of Colorado is
genuine mountain country – a space where man is not in charge.
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to experienced mountain climbers, these areas need humility, patience
and hard work. Therefor the challenge for June 30 needs to be taken one
step, rushing it will mean a bad bout of altitude sickness.
Sport and Sebastien Loeb went for the one-step-at-a-time approach for
their first practice weekend. They started off by putting their engine
through its paces on a test bench in Colorado Springs to see how it
performed at altitude.
The team then headed to the town’s nearby ‘Speedway’ for a shakedown run and to sign off changes made at the final test run in France.
took time to get to know the 156 turns of the Hill Climb so he can take
on each corner precisely with some mental notes, assisted by his
co-driver, Daniel Elena. Only once all these preparations had been
completed in the nine climbs, it was time to give the 208 T16 Pikes
Peak its first taste of the mountain.
'I FEEL VERY CONFIDENT'
Peugeot Sport’s director Bruno Famin said: “The result of the weekend is globally positive.
'beast' seems to suit Sebastien, to the extent that we have hardly made
any changes to its set-up. The car’s potential is borne out by the fact
that we posted the fastest time on each run.
“That said, 2012
winner Rhys Millen, who is something of a benchmark here, it still
familiarising himself with his own car and there was very little real
opposition. The chief lesson, therefore, is that the 208 T16 Pikes Peak
is a well-sorted car and that our busy programme in the past four
months seems to have taken us in the right direction. We will now need
to continue in the same vein.”
Loeb said: “I feel very confident with the car.
a reassuring start, if only because of the speeds we get up to here. We
are already getting close to the limit in many places. All we need to
do now is make some detail changes and we will be ready for the Big
For that, the team will benefit from three more official
practice sessions at the end of this week and that will mark a fresh
phase in Peugeot Sport’s acclimatisation process.