Sporty and ultra performing tyres, tyres and competition - Pikes Peak 2013: Michelin to equip Sebastian Loeb’s Peugeot 208 T16

Pikes Peak 2013: Michelin to equip Sebastian Loeb’s Peugeot 208 T16

Sport Published the 12/06/2013 by Charlotte

On June 30th, multiple world rally champion Sebastien Loeb will race Colorado’s Pikes Peak, climbing to an altitude of 4,300 metres behind the wheel of a specially built Peugeot 208 T16. To provide grip for this powerful beast (875 hp for 875 kg), Michelin, who are familiar with the legendary hill climb, has designed super-wide slick tyres for Peugeot Sport.

The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak fitted with Michelin slick tyres The Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak fitted with Michelin slick tyres - Copyright © : Peugeot Sport


Shocked by the sudden stop of the 908 programme, the Peugeot Sport team has been looking for a new challenge in line with a drastically reduced budget. Unable to enter a championship, the team needed a prestigious race to demonstrate its enthusiasm and expertise. A name quickly emerged: Pikes Peak, the legendary hill climb, where Ari Vatanen raced to victory in 1988 behind the wheel of a 405 T16.

The legendary hill race

Romain Dumas’ Porsche (Pikes Peak 2012)Copyright © : All Rights Reserved
Since last year Pikes Peak, an arid mountain in Colorado, has an asphalt road that winds it way to the summit, at an altitude of more than 4,300 metres. Hence its name, The race to the clouds. For almost a century, cars and motorcycles have been climbing this natural monument. Pikes Peak is the hill race: A vertiginous 12.42 mile climb (track bordered by cliffs of 2,000 feet and no safety barriers), rising 4,720 feet, with 156 turns and a hill climb record of 9 minutes and 46 seconds set by Rhys Millen on Hyundai in 2012. Of all the races held here during the summer, the Unlimited category – no power limits- is the most prestigious.   If offers a tremendous challenge for car tuners and drivers alike. It is exactly what was needed to boost the Peugeot Sport team’s morale.

875 horsepower for 875 kg

Michelin XL slick tyres for the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes PeakCopyright © : Peugeot Sport
In just under four months, fifteen engineers and mechanics have designed and developed the impressive 208 T16 Pikes Peak. Using several parts from the 908, the beast produces 875 hp for 875 kg, an amazing power/weight ratio. Its acceleration is worthy of a Formula 1: from 0 to 100 km/h in 1.8 seconds, and from 0 to 200 km/h in 4.8 seconds.   And, to be sure that the four wheel drive sticks to the asphalt, the tuner has asked Michelin to engineer super-wide slick tyres (31/71/18).

Sebastien Loeb takes on the challenge with Peugeot and Michelin

Sebastien Loeb prepares the race with Peugeot and MichelinCopyright © : Peugeot Sport
All the car needed now was a driver. Who, better than Sebastien Loeb, could drive such a beast? Brought in by Red Bull, the multiple world rally champion needed no convincing.  Despite a busy schedule, he accepted to take up the challenge with the people from Peugeot. Recently he could be found testing the car on the slopes of Mont Ventoux, in Provence.  Joining the project at a later stage, the driver has had little time to familiarise himself with the prototype.  He will begin testing the Pikes Peak corners on the 8th and 9th of June. With the help of Michelin, who are familiar with the race, they well test various tyres provided by the tyre manufacturer.


Dress rehearsal at Mont Ventoux (France)


A race with a foregone conclusion? Answer on 30th June

Despite such performance advantages, victory is not guaranteed. The champion, who takes part in the race for the first time, will confront rivals who know the race well, particularly the Frenchmen Jean-Philippe Dayraut (Mini) and Romain Dumas (Norma). Sebastien Loeb is playing it modest, but the Peugeot Sport team fervently believes he can win. The bets are open. Join us on 30th June.


For more information

>> The official Peugeot-Sport website
>> The official Red Bull - King of the Peak website
>> The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb website