Porsche smashes Bentley’s record by 25 seconds at Pikes Peak

Porsche entered a slightly modified 911 Turbo S in an attempt to break the Pikes Peak ascent record previously held by Bentley. It’s done, and with ease: the record was broken by about 25 seconds.

This year, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a little less pleasant than usual for the pilots. Heavy fog and rather slippery conditions made the record nearly impossible. But event organizers don’t want teams to wait another year for ideal conditions. “Like the Nürburgring, Pikes Peak is a legendary and iconic racing venue. We have therefore designed a new program to facilitate practice and other PPIHC-certified on-course record attempts outside of race day.”, said Fred Veitch, Chairman of the PPIHC Board of Directors. Thanks to this program, eight-time Pikes Peak winner David Donner had the opportunity to once again attempt the record for the fastest production car than the track that Bentley won in 2019 with a time of 10:18.488. On September 27, 2022, Donner raced for the clouds again, setting a record time of just 9:53.541.

This new program is the same one that brought the Lamborghini Urus Performante to fame by smashing the Pikes Peak record for an SUV, which was previously held by the Bentley Bentayga. The new record for a production car, set in an almost completely original Porsche 911 Turbo S was established under the same kind of conditions, with official timekeepers present to validate the record. “Although Donner’s time is not the same as a one-day race record, we all wanted to know what this 911 could do.

A few small changes

It is interesting to note that the attempt of a record for a production car still requires some adjustments: « When you build a race car from scratch, you can move things – but moving things in a modern production car is difficult. You can’t just take a few things out and expect it to be better. » “We also had to add a roll bar, a fire system, an emergency power cut-off system and a safety harness”, adds the chief technician in charge of the record. “The only performance modifications allowed were to the mapping and exhaust tuning.

In fact, these modifications are essential due to the extreme conditions imposed by the ascent of Pikes Peak. And although the mandatory removal of carpeting, interior trim and airbags lightens the car, the car is heavier than the original version because of the roll bar. We hope to see Donner and the team again at the real Pikes Peak race next year, but given the margin by which the record was broken, they can probably rest for a few years.

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