Photostory: Sebastien Loeb's journey to the top

From Peugeot HQ to the summit of Pikes Peak, we reinact Loeb’s Rocky Mountain adventure.

The record books now show that Sebastien Loeb is officially King of the Peak after he set a stunning time of 8m13.878s at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. We now look back at project’s beginnings in France and continue through to the moment Loeb became the first driver to break the nine-minute mark on the famous Rocky Mountain road.

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A first look at the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak
A first look at the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak

A first look at the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak

As Sebastien Loeb winds down his World Rally Championship career, the Frenchman is looking for new challenges. Soon Loeb, alongside Peugeot, has his sights set on the Pike Peaks International Hill Climb.

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The hard work begins
The hard work begins

The hard work begins

Man and machine must be in perfect harmony if Loeb is to get the better of Pikes Peak. The 12.4-mile hill climb is the most famous in the world, rising to more than 4300 metres above sea level in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains range.

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Loeb is stunned by staggering performance
Loeb is stunned by staggering performance

Loeb is stunned by staggering performance

After his first few kilometres in the Peugeot, Loeb declared: “The 208 T16 Pikes Peak is a rocket! It’s so powerful. The first time you drive it, each gear change practically stuns you.”

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A wild ride up Mont Ventoux
A wild ride up Mont Ventoux

A wild ride up Mont Ventoux

Sebastien Loeb and the team perform a dress rehearsal on Mont Ventoux, the setting for one of the toughest stages of the Tour de France.

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The hand of history
The hand of history

The hand of history

Peugeot returned to the Unlimited class of Pikes Peak on the 25th anniversary of the French manufacturer’s record-breaking first win with Ari Vatanen in 1988.

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Further fine-tuning takes place
Further fine-tuning takes place

Further fine-tuning takes place

A total of 11 people from Peugeot worked exclusively on the 208 T16 Pikes Peak at the manufacturer’s headquarters under the leadership of project chief Jean-Christophe Pallier.

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With a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends

With a little help from my friends

WRC co-driver Daniel Elena was on hand in Colorado to help Sebastien Loeb plan his attack on Pikes Peak. The duo worked out the pace notes during several test runs up the mountain.

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Loeb unleashes his ‘Beast’ at Pikes Peak testing
Loeb unleashes his ‘Beast’ at Pikes Peak testing

Loeb unleashes his ‘Beast’ at Pikes Peak testing

After topping the timesheets during testing, Sebastien Loeb goes quickest at Pikes Peak qualifying to claim the honour of being the first car up the mountain on race day.

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Getting a fresh perspective on things
Getting a fresh perspective on things

Getting a fresh perspective on things

In between taking care of business at Pikes Peak, Sebastien Loeb took a road trip on a Harley-Davidson 103 Road King. Colorado is the highest state in the USA and is renowned for its majestic scenery and soaring skies.

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Fans get a piece of their hero
Fans get a piece of their hero

Fans get a piece of their hero

Sebastien Loeb chatted with his supporters at the Pikes Peak Fan Fest in downtown Colorado Springs: a sort of massive street party for petrolheads. The streets get shut down as around 30,000 motorsport fans roll in.

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The engine roars, and so does the crowd
The engine roars, and so does the crowd

The engine roars, and so does the crowd

Sebastien Loeb received great support from fans that lined the 12.4-mile course, cheering the Frenchman on during his quest to create history in the Rocky Mountains.

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Sebastien Loeb is King of the Peak
Sebastien Loeb is King of the Peak

Sebastien Loeb is King of the Peak

After months of anticipation, Sebastien Loeb shattered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record with a breath-taking time of 8m13.878s in the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak.

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