Romain Dumas has completed the first on-site test at Pikes Peak with the I.D. R Pikes Peak ahead of the car’s entry in the famed hill climb later this month.
The Frenchman says he was impressed with the all-electric car’s performance on the route, which was closed off from public traffic for just three hours.
Volkswagen Motorsport has established a permanent base in Colorado ahead of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24.
The team focused mainly on suspension, tire tests and evaluating the optimum use of battery charge and energy recycling under braking during the car’s first U.S. test.
“Perfect energy management is one of the key factors for successfully attacking the record in the electric car category,” explained Francois-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport.
“The first test drive at Pikes Peak was successful. This shows that our computer simulations and the test drives in Europe were on point.”
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets added: “The news from Colorado is very positive: we are on schedule with the preparations for the I.D. R Pikes Peak and can now focus on the fine-tuning.
“It is the result of a very strong team performance, initially here in Germany and now by our team on site in the USA.
“If we continue to work with focus and motivation, we are in with a good chance of setting a new record time for e-cars on 24 June.”
Dumas: No Worries About Loss of Power
Dumas says that one of the main differences between driving an EV and a combustion engine-powered car at Pikes Peak is that he no longer has to contend with a loss of power at higher altitudes.
Normal combustion engines lose considerable performance on higher ground, which makes a noticeable difference over the 12.4-mile course at Pikes Peak.
“For the first time, I don’t need to worry about losing power at high altitude,” said Dumas.
“The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best car that I have ever driven up this mountain. The acceleration and cornering speed are really impressive, and on top of that the car is very convenient.
“Thanks to the electric drive, I don’t need to change gears and can focus on the line instead. But it goes without saying that there is always room for improvements. In the remaining test drives, we will continue to optimise the tuning.
“I know the track at Pikes Peak like the back of my hand, but it is the first time I will be driving a racing car with electric drive. I am learning with every meter I drive in the cockpit of the I.D. R Pikes Peak.”