With the technical rules in the Unlimited class being (as the name suggests) unlimited, today’s scrutineering was all about ensuring that both the car and driver’s equipment met specific safety standards. Everything passed without issue.
Sébastien may be a nine-times World Rally Champion and the most successful driver in the history of the sport, but even that doesn’t give him a free pass into Pikes Peak. The Frenchman also had to attend the rookie’s briefing for all drivers who are new to the event. "You can feel the atmosphere starting to build now," said Sébastien. "Pikes Peak is a brand new experience for me, so while we have been testing here already, I really don’t know what to expect from the actual race. You only get one shot up the hill and there is no second chance, so you have to make sure that you get everything right. So far the car feels fantastic."
The driver and the car are now all set for their attempt to become ‘Kings of the Peak’, exactly 25 years since Peugeot last broke the record with Ari Vatanen and the legendary 405 T16.
Sébastien shook down his car at the Pikes Peak International Raceway, where the Peugeot Sport team is basing itself in preparation for the race. Following some tests on the mountain over the past two weeks, Peugeot’s mechanics stripped down and rebuilt the 208 T16 Pikes Peak from top to bottom. Today, Sebastien’s job was to check that all the systems were working properly. The team does not now plan to change the set-up for the race unless they have to.
The 150 or so competitors – including 13 in the Unlimited class – will get the chance to practice the route during four early morning sessions from Tuesday to Friday this week. On Wednesday, qualifying takes place for the Unlimited runners to determine in which order the competitors start the race on Sunday.
This Sunday’s action, which can be followed live from the inside of the 208 T16 Pikes Peak on redbull.tv is scheduled to start at 08:00 (local time), with the motorbike section leading the way.
2013 Race Week Program:
> 25th June: Sanctioned practice day (5:30-8:30am)
> 26th June: Practice / Qualifying Unlimited Class (5:30-9:00am)
> 27th June: Practice (5:30-9:00am) / Qualifying + Media Day at PP Museum (2-4pm)
> 28th June: Practice / Qualifying (5:30-9:00am) + Fan Fest (5:00-10:00pm)
> 30th June: 91st Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (estimated race slot Unlimited Class: 11am-1pm)