Peugeot returns to Pikes Peak Hillclimb with the awesome 208 T16
Key partners include Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sbastien Loeb ■Race to the Clouds with the objective to win as beforeIn keeping with its competitive nature, Peugeot has decided to contest the 2013 Pikes Peak Hill Climb (Colorado, USA, 30th June) which continues to stand out as one of motor sports most exacting, internationally-reputed competitions.Peugeots bid to win the unique Colorado Springs based event with the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak has led it to join forces with key partners: Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sbastien Loeb.Peugeots participation in this epic race, which has previously seen the Marque triumph with the legendary 205 T16 and 405 T16 Pikes Peak, is a natural extension of its international offensive which is itself illustrated by the globalisation of its sales and the success enjoyed by the new 208.Pikes Peak: a Race to the Clouds indelibly anchored in Peugeots DNAIt was exactly 100 years ago that Peugeot notched up its first racing victory, at Indianapolis, the first of a very long list of successes in some of motor sports most mythical events. Also previous Pikes Peak Hill Climb successes ensured that motor sport continued to be an integral part of Peugeots DNA.Ari Vatanens unforgettable record-breaking victory on the 1988 event in the 405 T16 is documented by the celebrated film, Climb Dance. Peugeot won the famous hill climb a second time in 1989, this time with the USAs Robby Unser behind the wheel.The Pikes Peak Hill Climbs unique course was finally entirely asphalted last year and comprises 156 turns over a distance of 20 kilometres that takes competitors from an altitude of 2,800 metres to 4,300 metres at its highest point. The event is famous too, as the USAs second-oldest motorsport competition after Indianapolis and, over the decades, it has earned a reputation as a notoriously difficult and complex challenge!The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak has been entered in the premier Unlimited class and has been given the start number 208. Its sole objective is victory!World class partners To maximise its chances of winning the Pikes Peak Hill Climb with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak, Peugeot has enlisted the support of the very best partners for this exceptional project, namely Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sbastien Loeb. The nine-time World Rally Champion was able to accept Peugeots proposal thanks to Citron which has authorised its star driver to contest the American event for the first time in his career.As all the different players prepare for the challenge, all that remains is for the car that will be used for the ascentthe 208 T16 Pikes Peakto be unveiled, and its strengths and secrets are scheduled to be revealed in the middle of April.Peugeot, a Brand on the offensive The strong sales enjoyed by the new 208 (300,000 units manufactured up to end of February 2013) and the presentation to the media of the 208 GTi version at this very moment are eloquent signs of Peugeots dynamism. But Peugeots commercial successes have traditionally been accompanied by success in motor sport, so the decision to take on the challenge of this extraordinary, mythical, exacting competitionwhich also helped to forge the brands reputation in the late 1980swas a perfectly natural one.Three questions addressed to Maxime Picat, Director General Automobiles PeugeotDoes this event mark Peugeots return to motor sport? Maxime Picat: Peugeot has never abandoned motor sport. To realise that, one only needs to look at the busy activity of our customer competition department and all the different competition versions of the 208 it has developed, namely the 208 T16, the 208 R2, the 208 Racing Cup and the 208 GTi Peugeot Sport. The latter will take part in the Nrburgring 24 Hours as part of the 208 GTi Racing Experience operation which was runs in parallel to the 208 GTis launch. Last year, when we announced the end of our endurance racing programme, we stated that Peugeot wasnt closing the door to a future factory programme. Peugeot Sport consequently drew up a list of potential projects, and that list included Pikes Peak. This exceptional event fits perfectly with the brands international growth drive and appeared to us to be an exciting and stimulating challenge.Why choose the Pikes Peak Hill Climb? Maxime Picat: Pikes Peak is a one-off outing which has the potential to generate extensive media coverage and which meets the constraints of the current context. It is a legendary race that has inspired all the brands teams who have mobilised behind the project which targets outright victory. It is also a tough, exceptional challenge which leaves no room for error. In other words, its exactly the sort of challenge that Peugeot adores.Why have Red Bull and Sbastien Loeb been enlisted for this event? Maxime Picat: Our objective is to win, so we needed to stack up as many cards as possible in our favour by joining forces with the very best partners for this unique project, namely Total, Red Bull, Michelin and Sbastien Loeb. Indeed, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Citron for this one-off loan of its exceptional champion. Citrons support is emblematic of the cohesion that reigns within the PSA Peugeot Citron Group.