It was several demanding months of preparation and exhausting days on Pikes Peak. Now that you’ve achieved your aim, how does it feel?
DUMAS: The team – unbelievable, the atmosphere – unbelievable, the challenge – unbelievable! And now I can finally say: We did it! A dream has come true. That’s quite moving for me. There’s no question that Winning Le Mans as part of a team was impressive. But taking first place at Pikes Peak is simply unbelievable. I’m very, very happy. But now I’m exhausted and would like nothing more than to sleep for a couple weeks. I got my first grey hairs during the first Pikes Peak. It must be more by now. I was well prepared, gave it my all. But you can’t win without a good car.
DEMAISON: My dream came true too. Winning Pikes Peak is a lot like winning Rallye Monte Carlo. Taking first place in Monte Carlo is the same level – it’s an amazing feeling!
SMEETS: We’ve written motorsport history – but it will take us some time to process that.
People are always saying that there’s a lack of emotion with e-mobility. Can a motorsport success like this change that?
WELSCH: In addition to serving as a testing laboratory for future technologies, motorsport also rouses emotions and fascination among the participants and spectators. The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best example: its extraordinary design, the forward-looking technology and its exceptional performance set pulses racing for lots of fans. We followed the race along with many motorsport fans at the Autostadt-facilities here in Wolfsburg; it was unadulterated excitement and emotion. That carries over to our production vehicles, of course.
SMEETS: I think we’ve proven that electric cars can be passionate. That it’s fantastic to see them driving. And that this is our future as we will experience it.
And for everyone who wants more of this type of motorsport, how do you see the prospects of Volkswagen Motorsport with electric cars?
WELSCH: For Volkswagen, the race on Pikes Peak was a very successful start to motorsport with electric drive. We’ve also been observing for some time now the opportunities available to electric racing cars. What challenge will Volkswagen tackle next? As they say, that remains to be seen. But it will be exciting.