The conditions were appalling for this record attempt.
This past weekend saw two big events take place. Over in the UK, the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed was held, with a number of automakers taking the opportunity to showcase their latest wares at the show. But on this side of the pond, a much gnarlier event took place with the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Two Porsches from different ends of the spectrum were supposed to make waves there. The first was the Hoonipigasus that Ken Block was meant to campaign to a record-breaking run, but his heavily modified Porker suffered engine failure. On the other end of the scale was a totally stock Porsche 911 Turbo driven by David Donner, a Pikes Peak veteran. Sadly, his weekend didn't end in glory either.
Donner's 911 Turbo S was equipped with the Lightweight package from the factory and was sporting some wild decals, a roll cage for safety, a stripped interior to balance the increased weight, and a racing seat with harnesses. An electrical cutoff switch and a fire suppression system were also fitted but all other aspects of the car were stock: suspension, gearbox, engine, brakes, and so on. This allowed Donner to chase the production car record that was set by a Bentley Continental GT in 2019, and things were looking peachy in the week building up to the main event on Sunday, as Donner broke the qualifying record for production cars.
Unfortunately, the mountain is an unpredictable foe, and even with all the best preparation, there are always some things at Pikes Peak that are beyond the control of drivers and teams. For Donner's attempt, the factor that he must have most wished to have control over was the weather, as dense fog permeated the course, severely hindering visibility. At the same time, a film of light moisture sat atop the asphalt, making the surface slippery and preventing Donner from putting the power down safely. It's a real pity, especially since this event only happens once a year, but if you watch his attempt below, you can see that Donner truly tried his best. Maybe next year.