26 PIKES PEAK IN­TER­NA­TIONAL HILL CLIMB

RECORDS BREAK AND A NEW KING IS BORN AT THE 96TH AN­NUAL PIKES PEAK IN­TER­NA­TIONAL HILL CLIMB

Super Street - - Contents - WORDS Austin Lott PHO­TOS Courtesy of Acura and VW

This year, Acura fielded four en­tries, set two records, and won the open class. An ’18 TLX GT earned brag­ging rights as not only best in the Open class, but third over­all and the fastest pro­duc­tion-based ve­hi­cle that com­peted with an over­all time of 9:27.352. The TLX GT sports a J35 V-6 with a pair of tur­bos, among many other sup­port­ing mods. The TLX GT was only beaten by two pur­pose-built pro­to­type race cars (more on that in a mo­ment).

The sec­ond record nabbed by Acura was for the TLX A-spec to a time of 10:48.094—a new front-wheel-drive course record. The TLX A-spec had a sim­i­lar setup to the GT, with a 3.5-liter V-6 pump­ing out 500 hp (thanks, turbo!) with a lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial and some aero mods.

A ’19 Acura RDX raced in the Ex­hi­bi­tion class, but due to in­clement weather, which is some­thing of a call­ing card for Pikes Peak, it was forced to run on a short­ened course.

Since forced in­duc­tion and elec­tric mo­tors are the power-adders of choice for the high-el­e­va­tion race, Acura’s NSX con­tender did quite well, set­ting a new hy­brid record along the way. The Time At­tack 1 Class NSX posted a time of 10:02.448, which was good enough to land it in fourth place in its class.

So, who took the cov­eted “King of the Moun­tain” ti­tle? Volk­swa­gen, with its all-elec­tric I.D. R Pikes Peak pro­to­type race car. The car weighed just over 2,400 pounds and packed about 670 hp of in­stant-on elec­tric power. To give you an idea just how much power that is, the au­tomaker not only took first over­all, but shat­tered the course record set in ’13 by more than 16 sec­onds! VW’S run of 7:57.148 was set by driver Ro­main Du­mas in the pro­to­type that was de­vel­oped in a mere 250 days.

“Since this week’s tests, we have known that it was pos­si­ble to break the all-time record. For it to come off, ev­ery­thing had to come to­gether per­fectly—from the tech­nol­ogy to the driver. And the weather had to play ball, too,” Du­mas ex­plained. “That ev­ery­thing ran so smoothly is an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing, and the new record on Pikes Peak is the ic­ing on the cake.”

The Broad­moor Pikes Peak In­ter­na­tional Hill Climb is an event like no other: 12.42 miles, 156 turns, and a climb that starts at a dizzy­ing 9,390 feet and climbs to more than 14,000 feet. To make up for the pow­er­rob­bing el­e­va­tion, forced in­duc­tion, and elec­tric mo­tors are main­stays for se­ri­ous com­peti­tors.

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