Romain Dumas and the Volkswagen ID. R prototype dismantled the long-held Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb record during a practice run on Friday afternoon.
The two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner completed the 1.16-mile course in a time of 41.18s (average speed 104.1 mph) to beat Heidfeld’s 41.6s benchmark set in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car back in 1999.
Ahead of the car’s second Goodwood appearance, Volkswagen announced its intentions to beat the Heidfeld time with an optimized sprint package for its 500 kW prototype.
Dumas steered the ID.R up the Goodwood course in 43.05s last year, and also won the end-of-weekend shootout that involves cars from several different eras and categories.
The Frenchman still has opportunities to improve this weekend, with a qualifying run scheduled for tomorrow and the final shootout which takes place on Sunday.
After setting the new record, Dumas suggested that he would push for a sub-40-second time during his remaining run slots.
“It was good fun,” he said. “I am a little bit stressed with the weather for the rest of the weekend so we tried to push today. Tomorrow I hope that we can go even a bit quicker.”
Heidfeld, meanwhile, set the fourth-fastest time on Friday in a Mahindra M6Electro Gen 2 Formula E car, with the German driver’s 47.86 effort putting him behind Joerg Weidinger’s BMW E36 hill climb special and Petter Solberg in a Volkswagen Polo WRX.
Current Formula 1 cars are banned from setting competitive times at Goodwood on safety grounds and are instead limited to demo runs.
Volkswagen’s all-electric machine has now broken three major records with Dumas behind the wheel.
It claimed the fastest-ever ascent of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last year and also set a new benchmark for electric vehicles on the Nürburgring Nordschleife four weeks ago.