French dress rehearsal for Pikes Peak
After the team's previous test work in the more secure context of several circuits, it was time at last to unleash the beast in its natural environment. "This is an important run because Pikes Peak is very different from a nice, smooth race track," noted Sébastien Loeb. "It is vital for us to evaluate the car on a terrain that is more like what we will find in the States. This road will give us a reasonably accurate idea..."
With a power output of 875 horsepower, this car is no ordinary beast. "The steering is still very, very responsive, so it can be a little hairy keeping your foot to the floor though the fast portions," observed the French driver. "On wide slicks like this and at the sort of speeds I am getting up to, the slightest imperfection in the road surface really unsettles the car."
A switch to softer Michelin tyres and revised calibration for the steering helped to improve the situation.