David Donner Smashes Bentley Pikes Peak Record With Porsche 911 Turbo S

Motorsport / 3 Comments

The nearly-stock Porsche has cracked the 10-minute mark, becoming the fastest production car at Pikes Peak.

This year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was a bit less enjoyable for the drivers than the last outing. Serious fog and slippery conditions made it nearly impossible for most entrants to achieve what they normally could in the dry. But the organizers of the event don't want teams to wait another year for ideal conditions anymore.

"Like the Nurburgring, Pikes Peak is a legendary and iconic racing venue - so we've designed a new program to facilitate Certified Course Times sanctioned by PPIHC outside of race day," said Fred Veitch, board chairman for the PPIHC.

Thanks to this program, Porsche fan and eight-time Pikes Peak winner David Donner had the opportunity to take another shot at the production car record, which Bentley claimed in 2019 with a time of 10:18.488.

On September 27, 2022, Donner raced to the clouds once again, setting a record-shattering time of just 9:53.541.

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This new program is the same one that allowed the Lamborghini Urus Performante to achieve glory as it smashed the Bentley Bentayga's Pikes Peak SUV record by some 17 seconds. Donner's new production car record, set in a nearly-stock Porsche 911 Turbo S, was set in the same sort of conditions, with official timekeepers present to validate the official time.

"While Donner's time isn't the same as a race day record, all of us wanted to know what this 911 could do - and no one expects a 'Ring time to be set during a VLN race so long as it's officially recognized," said 000 Magazine co-founder Pete Stout.

000 Magazine, a publication specializing in Porsches, has been part of the project from the start, alongside Champion Motorsport and Michelin, which supplied the Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires that the record was set on.

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Interestingly, chasing a production car record has created some unique challenges, which lead technician Victor Scanapico sums up well: "When you build a race car from the ground up, you can move things around - but moving things in a modern production car is difficult. You can't just unplug things and hope for the best."

Scanpico recalls that the fuel cell's location caused some trouble but that the functionality of surrounding systems was retained in the end.

"We also had to add a roll cage, fire suppression system, electric cutoff, race seat, and safety harness," adds the technician. "The only performance modifications allowed were ECU tuning and exhaust, which are vital due to the extreme conditions on Pikes Peak. And while the required removal of the carpeting, interior trim, and airbags sounds great, the car is heavier than stock thanks to the roll cage."

Impressive stuff, indeed. We hope to see Donner and the team back at next year's Race to the Clouds, but considering the margin by which the record was won, they can probably relax for a couple of years.

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