Electric Volkswagen I.D. R breaks the 20-year-old Goodwood Hill Climb record
Volkswagen had done it again. Another record has been broken by their unstoppable I.D. R electric racecar, and this time it was an all-time fastest climb previously held by former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld in his McLaren Formula 1 car.
Driven by Romain Dumas, the 680-horsepower I.D. R crossed the line in just 41.18 seconds, which is nearly half of second faster than Heidfeld's 41.6 run from 1999 when he drove, at the time, arguably the fastest racing car on the planet.
The record could be improved even further
The time was set during the practice runs, and many are predicting that it can be improved even further. That is unless nerves get to Dumas like they did last year when he went off the track.
You may have noticed that other than the color, this year's car looks slightly different. The wing is smaller, lower, and the setup is closer to the one raced around the Nürburgring just a month ago where I.D R snatched another record - fastest electric car around the track, beating the Chinese Nio EP9.
The earlier 'grey' car is the same one that holds the record at the Pikes Peak hill climb - a race this car was specifically designed for.
To be fair to Heidfeld...
One thing we need to keep in mind is that I.D R was designed for these kinds of races. It is stable, planted, and sacrifices the top speed for acceleration.
McLaren MP4/13 was different. It had to play by a completely different set of rules and conditions. And although McLaren dominated the F1 1998 season, securing the constructor's title as well as Driver's Championship for Mika Hakkinen; Goodwood hill-climb was not its home turf.
Just notice how hard the car is bouncing all over the road and how the rear tires are constantly fighting for grip. Nick Heidfeld did an amazing job pointing it at the right direction.
Still, credit where credit is due: Volkswagen has done it. The record is in the bag, and all that remains to be seen now is if the car can go under 41 seconds. Godspeed Dumas!
Update - record dips under 40 seconds
Dumas has done it again. A day later I.D. R crossed the finish line fo the Sussex hill climb in 39.9 seconds! That is mental!
There is one more day of the festival remaining, and everyone would like to see if Dumas can go any faster, but the increasing chance of rain might just stop the otherwise unstoppable I.D. R.
Update 2 - record time is not official
Although 39:9 was the fastest time of any car to go up the hill, the record is not official. To be official I.D. R had to do it on Sunday during the shootouts, and well, it was raining that day.
Best time Dumas could do was 42.32 which means that Heidfeld's time in the Formula 1 car is still officially the fastest one.
Until next year maybe.