All-Time Goodwood Hill Climb Record Could Go As Volkswagen ID.R Returns To Festival Of Speed
Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.R sportscar has been getting around. Last month it smashed the lap record for battery-powered cars at the lauded Nürburgring Nordschliefe, with a 6min 05.336sec time, that also beat Stefan Bellof’s lauded Group C Porsche 956 mark set in 1983.
This followed from an earlier version of the ID.R breaking the Pikes Peak record in June last year, becoming the first to complete the 12.42-mile hill climb course in under eight minutes. And mere weeks later the electric car completed the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s hill climb course in just 43.86sec, which was the fastest time there for 15 years. All of these ID.R feats were done with two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Romain Dumas behind the wheel.
Dumas’s Goodwood Festival time also was only 2.2sec off the all-time course record of 41.6sec set in 1999 by then McLaren Formula 1 tester Nick Heidfield, in a MP4/13, the 1998 McLaren grand prix car. Many thought that Heldfield’s mark would stand forever, as such advanced machines subsequently on safety grounds were not timed on their Goodwood runs. Yet Heidfield’s 20-year-old record could at last be broken at this year’s Festival, as Volkswagen has confirmed that the ID.R will be back at the 2019 running of the popular Goodwood event in southern England, which takes place on July 4-7. And this time it will be with a special version of the car especially for the Goodwood course.
“Last year, we lined up in Goodwood just three weeks after the record-breaking run on Pikes Peak and used the same technical configuration as we did at the hill climb,” explained Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets. “This year, we will field an ID.R that has been prepared specifically for Goodwood.” And it is the short nature of the 1.16-mile Goodwood course that has allowed many of the bespoke measures. “We have developed another evolutionary stage of the ID.R–a sprint version with smaller batteries, in order to further reduce weight,” added Volkswagen Motorsport’s technical director François-Xavier Demaison. “We have also opted for a far more aggressive energy management strategy for the short distance. You need very high output for a very short time for the sprint in Goodwood.”
Appropriately also, the 2019 Goodwood Festival, which is expected to attract around 180,000 visitors, is to base itself around a “Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers” theme, to celebrate the tradition of motorsport record breaking. “The atmosphere in Goodwood is unique,” said Dumas. “Nowhere else in the world will you find so many famous drivers and legendary race cars in one place.”
“The electric drivetrain heralds a new era in production vehicles,” continued Dr Frank Welsch, member of the Volkswagen board with responsibility for technical development. “Volkswagen is making an important contribution to this development with the ID. range, which is due to be launched soon. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is a fascinating bridge between the past, present and future of the automobile. As such, it is the perfect stage on which to demonstrate the performance of Volkswagen’s electric technology.”
Images courtesy of Volkswagen Motorsport