This is the Statt Mann Baby. It’s time to Scatt a little bit.
How do you explain a paradigm shift in racing?
In a sport measured in splits of seconds, nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb Sunday went up Pikes Peak in 8:13.878. He took nearly a minute and a half from last year’s overall record set by former King of the Hill Rhys Millen. Millen, in fact, turned in a personal best of 9:02.192 Sunday in a former Crawford Daytona Prototype converted for the Hill Climb.
Loeb’s run is a paradigm shift for racing on Pikes Peak. It was the culmination of maybe a year’s worth of engineering, testing and planning. Peugeot wanted to show off the technology of its 208 T16 as well as the technology of its name.
Peugeot doesn’t sell cars in the U.S. currently and Loeb doesn’t race in anything that’s important to mainstream racing fans in the U.S.
But Pikes Peak is important to places where Peugeot and Loeb ARE important like Europe and Asia. This will be huge news in those markets and deservedly so. To break a record by more than a minute is mind numbing.
You could see Loeb’s Peugeot markedly faster entering and exiting the 156 corners of the Hillclimb. It was a brilliant drive by a brilliant driver in a machine we will come to recognize as brilliant as we go forward.
Certainly it will change the thinking of anyone who targets the record going forward. This won’t go away without a fight.