Romain Dumas, who wears a Stilo ST5 F Zero 8860, says that Volkswagen Motorsport’s all-electric powered I.D. R Pikes Peak is “the best car that I have ever driven up this mountain” as he completed the first test ahead of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 24.

The talented French driver, who has won the Le Mans 24 Hours twice and who is equally at home rallying a Porsche 911, was in Colorado to continue testing of the futuristic looking car – which is aiming at the 8mins 57.118secs record for electric cars, set in 2016.

“The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best car that I have ever driven up this mountain,” said Dumas. “The acceleration and cornering speed are really impressive, and on top of that the car is very convenient. Thanks to the electric drive, I don’t need to change gears and can focus on the line instead. But it goes without saying that there is always room for improvements. In the remaining test drives, we will continue to optimise the tuning. I know the track at Pikes Peak like the back of my hand, but it is the first time I will be driving a racing car with electric drive. I am learning with every metre I drive in the cockpit of the I.D. R Pikes Peak.

“For the first time, I don’t need to worry about losing power at high altitude. You only get one shot. If even only the slightest thing goes wrong, a new e-record is highly unlikely. As always in motorsport, the rule is that in order to be first, you have to make it to the finish line.”

During the first test in the USA, the team mainly focused on the suspension, tyres and the optimum use of battery charge and energy recycling when braking. “Perfect energy management is one of the key factors for successfully attacking the record in the electric car category,” explained François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport, who, as project manager, is responsible for I.D. R Pikes Peak. “The first test drive at Pikes Peak was successful. This shows that our computer simulations and the test drives in Europe were on point.”

“The news from Colorado is very positive: we are on schedule with the preparations for the I.D. R Pikes Peak and can now focus on the fine-tuning,” added Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “It is the result of a very strong team performance, initially here in Germany and now by our team on site in the USA. If we continue to work with focus and motivation, we are in with a good chance of setting a new record time for e-cars on 24 June.”

The Pikes Peak course is 12.42 miles long, contains 156 corners and climbs 1,440 metres between start and finish.