Silence dropped on the mountain. Pikes Peak stood high and awaited a speed assault from the New Range Rover Sport. The crew and engineers stood top, middle and bottom of the track enthusiastically and with huge anticipation.. it was time to turn on the engine and go try set a world record.
What record to set? The fastest time to the top of Pikes Peak for a production SUV. A time trial of 12.42 miles up to a summit that stands at a mighty high 14,115 ft
The driver was strapped in and given the go! The noise of the highly tuned engine roared. The tension from all the crew and team all the way up the track turned from a nervous anticipation to yelps of excitement. I was warned he would fly past and oh my he did. My camera shutter going crazy in each millisecond trying to keep up.
It felt like no time at all till the car was winding near the top. Those hairpin bends so easily sped around and it flew across the mountain top finish line to huge positive cheers, radiating down the mountain via radios. So many people had put so much into getting to this moment… The words on everyone’s lips. ‘What was the time’?
A record had been set. The time was an amazing 12 minutes 35.61 seconds. Incredible for a production SUV.
I immediately took my chance to speak to the driver, a true Pikes Peak veteran Paul Dallenbach. He was pumped up and why shouldn’t he be? He told me that the time was faster than a lot of the actual racing cars that took part in the Pikes Peak Race last year. Now he had done it I still wanted to know how he felt in that silence of anticipation earlier. He smiled and said right before the start he still felt as excited as a race day. That feeling of the unknown with adrenalin pumping hard.
At the speed he was doing and the time made he reminded me. This New Range Rover Sport had no racing tyres, brakes or suspension. It was a challenge and it was taken on successfully. It was an honour to witness it.