That’s it. Practice is over. And we’re quite thankful as it means both us, and the drivers can get some sleep. As Pikes Peak is a public road, practice takes place in the silly, silly hours of the morning. Everyone needs to be on the mountain for 3am and off it for 8.30am so tourists can get to the summit, buy a keyring with their names on and vomit from altitude sickness.
For the last practice we once again followed the Unlimited and Time attack class but this time at the top of the mountain. It’s the fastest part of the course with long, open straights but littered with plenty of tighter corners to catch people out. Where the bottom is lush and green, the top looks like from something from Mars. The red, dusty gravel and boulder fields that flank the track at this part makes it look, quite literally, other worldly.
After three runs on the final third, Séb Loeb and the 208 T16 looked noticeably quicker again. He clocked a time of 2:11 with his closest competitor PP veteran Rhys Millen’s in his recently-back-to-full-chat Hyundai PM580T posting a 2:27.16. Up next was Romain Dumas in his craving inducing Haribo liveried Norma M20FC PP getting to the top in 2:27.47. Finally the third Frenchman, Jean-Philippe Dayraut, was six seconds behind in the monstrous 900hp Mini.
We spoke to Seb afterwards and he seems prepped for race day on Sunday. And if you internetists are worried that we’re only covering the Unlimited Class, don’t. We’ll have pics of all the mental buggies, quads, heritage cards and semi-trucks on race day. But for now, check out the action from testing below.
Words and pictures: Rowan Horncastle