The grueling climb which is the annual Pikes Peak Race to the Clouds tests vehicles in ways many other races don’t. A 12.42 mile track spanning 156 turns climbs 4,720 feet from the drop of the flag, over grades averaging seven percent, to finish out at an elevation of 14,110 feet. The first race took place at this spot in Colorado 1916, and the inclusion of an electric car class in recent history has opened up the field to an array of zero emissions vehicles that may this year include one from the small European nation of Latvia.
Drive eO is looking to crack the top of the electric car class with its upcoming PP01 entry, a sleek looking, low sloping super car to be outfitted with a 400 kW all wheel, electric drive architecture believed to make the vehicle “a worthy contender.”
The company behind the PP01 is no fly by night operation when it comes to racing electric vehicles in tough outings it looks like. In 2011, for example, an electric off-roader it built completed 11,184 miles across three continents as part of the mega difficult Dakar rally. Experiences in races like that, plus understanding of motorsport engineering, have helped shape the PP01’s tublar spaceframe prototype with a bought-in carbon fiber body kit.
Plans currently call for thoroughly testing the electric racer this month before shipping it to Colorado in early June for it to get ready for the June 30th climb competition. There it will be driven by Baltic touring car champion Janis Horeliks as he attempts to beat the current track record for an electric car, set last year by Fumio Nutahara, who drove a Toyota Motorsport TMG EVP002 in a time of 10:15.38.
“We know our technology is capable of breaking the current Pikes Peak record,” said eO chief engineer Andris Dambis in a statement, “but there is an incredibly tight field battling it out this year. We therefore acknowledge the unpredictable nature of the event but nevertheless aim to showcase previously unseen electric vehicle capabilities. That is the spirit at eO.”