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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Ford Obliterated The Pike’s Peak Recrod With A Van

The Race To The Clouds is a really explanatory identify for the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hillclimb, one of the crucial daunting racing challenges on the earth. It’s a 20km twisty mountain highway that snakes up the mountain by means of 156 corners, beginning at 1,440m of elevation, and working all the best way to the highest at 4,320m. Though a lot of the floor has been paved, it stays an enormous problem for man and machine, primarily as a result of large change in elevation and subsequent drop in oxygon because the altitude will increase. For this 12 months, the a hundred and first working of the Pike’s Peak occasion, noticed Ford coming into with a Transit van. However not simply any van, a real Supervan

The stipulation for the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hillclimb is kind of easy. Adjust to one of many six totally different classes’ laws, and blast your means up the mountain in an try and set the quickest time in school, and probably general. Should you can obtain that, you’re a winner of one of the crucial prestigious and oldest racing occasions in historical past. The race was first contested in 1916, as Spencer Penrose organised the occasion to advertise the newly constructed Pikes Peak Freeway. Though it was lengthy a purely American occasion, by the Nineteen Eighties European and Asian producers and racing drivers bought concerned. Names like Michèle Mouton, Walter Röhrl, Ari Vatanen, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and plenty of others left an enduring impression on the mountain and racing followers.

The course of the Pikes Peak Worldwide Hill Climb.

The contestants are divided into six divisions; Limitless, Time Assault 1, Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama, Open Wheel, Pikes Peak Open and Exhibition. The occasion is likely one of the final to characteristic an virtually limitless class, known as Limitless. This permits totally purpose-built vehicles to enter and check out their greatest to beat the course file. Romain Dumas holds the general file at 7:57.148, set within the all-electric Volkswagen I.D. R. The Pikes Peak Open class may sound comparable on paper, however this has a bit extra restrictions in what you possibly can run, because it needs to be (loosely) based mostly on a manufacturing car. The group does permit for main technical and aerodynamical upgrades although, so the machines on this class can look as wild as within the Limitless class. This class, the Pikes Peak Open, is what we’re going to take a better take a look at immediately, as Ford entered with its newest Supervan.

The Ford Supervan Idea

The clue to what a Supervan kind of lies in its identify. It’s mainly a Ford Transit with a monster engine, an idea that dates again to 1971 and which was primarily designed as a promotional car by Ford UK. What they did was take an everyday manufacturing Ford Transit, one of many best-selling vans of all time, and stick the physique on prime of the chassis and engine of a Ford GT40. This gave it about 435bhp, 4 to five instances the ability of a inventory Transit. Should you take a look at footage of this MkI Supervan, it seems hilarious, selecting up the within entrance wheel because it dances round a nook!

Ford constructed a number of different Supervans, all based mostly on the Transit. In 1984 they constructed the Transit Supervan 2, fitted with a 3.9 litre Cosworth DFV V8 from a Ford C100 Group C prototype. With near 600 horsepower, this hit a prime pace of 280kph, which is insane for a van! However the madness didn’t cease there, as a decade later the Supervan 3 was constructed. This time Ford shrunk the physique of a Transit right down to 7/8ths scale and caught within the 3.5 litre Cosworth HB V8 that produced between 630 and 700bhp and was utilized in Ayrton Senna’s McLaren MP4/8 for the 1993 Method 1 season. This boosted the highest pace to shut to 300kph. Once more, in a VAN!

In order that’s the overall thought. Begin with a inventory Transit put in a vastly highly effective engine and have a ton of enjoyable within the course of. Lately, Ford has rekindled the idea of the Supervan however took it into a special, electrified course.

The Supervan 4.2

Final 12 months, Ford launched a brand new Supervan on the Goodwood Pageant of Velocity. Referred to as the Ford Supervan 4.0, this was an electrified model of the newest era of the Transit. The workforce didn’t mess about although and constructed a bespoke chassis and electrical driveline. 4 motors and a battery pack produced an astonishing 2,000bhp and 1,800Nm of torque, all hidden by a wild aero equipment with large wings, flaps, and cutouts to maintain the automotive steady and planted. Zero to 100kph took lower than 2 seconds, and the highest pace is claimed to be in extra of 320kph.

For Pikes Peak, Ford’s Efficiency division determined to make use of the Supervan 4.0 because the platform for its hillclimb racer. Over a interval of six weeks, which is tremendous brief for such a construct, the workforce constructed the Supervan 4.2, an evolution of the one which blasted up the hill at Goodwood. It wanted to drop some weight, so it was determined to drop one of many electrical motors. This additionally cuts the ability from a bonkers 2,000 to a nonetheless almighty 1,427 horsepower, nevertheless it has to take care of 400 kilograms much less weight, which is a big distinction. Each facet of the automotive was modified to optimize its efficiency, together with new brakes, new transmission, new suspension and new aerodynamic elements.

Obliterating the course file

Ford got down to beat the category file within the Pikes Peak Open division and aimed for a sub-9-minute time. It takes a sure character to even come near that however Ford had a crafty plan, because it enlisted Romain Dumas as the motive force of the Supervan 4.2. Romain is aware of the observe up the mountain inside and outside, as he holds the general pace file and has received the occasion in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. His earlier file within the Volkswagen I.D. R nonetheless stands thoughts you, however was set in a special class.

On June twenty fifth of this 12 months, Ford lined up the Supervan 4.2 on the beginning line. Throughout a observe session, the automotive broke down on account of an issue with the transmission, however for the race, the whole lot appeared good. The file for the Open Class stood since 2019, at 9:24,433 seconds, so the aim was to greatest that by at the very least 24,5 seconds and potential set the quickest time general within the course of. 

The Ford Supervan 4.2 ended up smashing that aim and set a brand new class file at a staggering 8:47,682 for the complete 20km run! Which means it was faster by an enormous 37 seconds! The one (slight) draw back, nonetheless, is the actual fact it was a time solely adequate for second general. The 2018 Wolf TSC-FS pushed by Robin Schute within the Limitless division was even faster, at 8:40,682. Nonetheless, it’s a mighty spectacular achievement by a Ford Transit van, or reasonably Ford Transit Supervan!

Editorial Be aware: The photographs used on this article are sourced from and used with the permission of Media.Ford.com.


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