Sordo breaks record, Dumas survives scare to win Pikes Peak

Dani Sordo won his class in record time – while Romain Dumas recovered from an early technical problem to win his fifth Pikes Peak crown


Romain Dumas overcame an early scare to record his fifth overall win in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, while World Rally Championship star Dani Sordo was a class-winning third overall.

Dumas’s electric-powered Ford F-150 Lightning Supertruck dramatically ground to a halt shortly after starting his run up the legendary 12.42-mile, 156-turn course made famous by the likes of Ari Vatanen and Michèle Mouton. But quick thinking by the Frenchman allowed him to perform a reset and get back underway with the loss of around 26 seconds compared with his qualifying run.

Faultless thereafter, Dumas stopped the clock in eight minutes 53.553s, some 10.9s faster than the Unlimited class-winning Wolf Aurobay GB08 of Christian Merli despite dropping 18s to his rival in the opening sector. Sordo’s Time Attack-spec Hyundai Ioniq 5 N was another 26s back but won the Exhibition class in a record time.

F-150 Lightning SuperTruck at Pikes Peak

Once he'd got going Romain Dumas was flying up Pikes Peak with ease

“I don’t know what happened at the start,” said Dumas after his run. “The car switched off completely on its own, it never happened before. I didn’t panic, I just looked at all the numbers, everything was looking OK. I made a power cycle on my own, and suddenly was working again.

“At the first split, I saw that I was 26 seconds slower, compared with my provision, so I said: ‘OK, I need just to push and should be OK.’

“But it was quite stressful, I have to say – I think the most stressful I had so far since I am here in Pikes Peak.”

A key advantage of electric propulsion on the Colorado mountain is its undiminished performance at altitude, which helped Dumas claw his way back ahead as he ascended the peak. But his time remained nearly six seconds shy of his 2023 class-winning marker, set in Ford’s Supervan 4.

F-150 Lightning SuperTruck at Pikes Peak

Without the early stoppage the F150 Lightning Supertruck would likely have been faster than its Supervan 4 predecessor

“Pikes Peak is so difficult because you have one shot,” Dumas continued, “and if you have a small issue or a big issue, you can lose everything. So we work quite hard, or very hard, with the team and Ford Performance and started since one year to improve.

“We wanted to improve our lap time from the Supervan, but we didn’t, so on one side we can be a little bit disappointed.

“Our target number one was to win our category; number two, possible to win the overall because last year we were quite close.

“It was very, very difficult, but this is Pikes Peak – you can’t predict anything. I mean, we prepare everything perfect [but] in two years this is the first time that this problem is coming. I don’t know why.

“By chance, I was reading all the procedures and I [managed] to restart the car, so at this time I was quite happy that last night I was reading again what I should do in case of issue!”

Large-60227-HyundaiMotorsIONIQ5NSetsBenchmarkforCrossoverEVsatPikesPeakInternationalHillClimb (1)

Sordo was making his first start at the event in the production-based Ioniq 5 N, featuring heavily upgraded aerodynamics and a software-derived power hike. The Spaniard was some 25s faster than Randy Pobst’s similar car, setting a record for the Electric Modified category.

Sordo said: “The truth is that we did not expect this third place. It has exceeded all our expectations to be on the podium in our first participation with the Hyundai Ioniq 5 N ‘TA Spec’. I have made a clean climb, without taking risks.

“Congratulations to the team for the development of the car, which has allowed us to get very far ahead of other models in a higher category.”