Volkswagen ID. R Sets The First Record Up The Stunning And Extremely Challenging Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road
Volkswagen has added yet another record to its list with the pioneering all-electric 680hp ID. R race car. Over the past two years it has claimed the fastest EV times at Pikes Peak, twice at Goodwood and most recently, the Nürburgring Nordschleife. It has now set a time of 7:38.585 up the 99 challenging twists and turns of China’s Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road.
Unlike the previous records, however, no official time has ever been set here and definitely not in an all-electric vehicle. The brand’s unique method of promoting the potential of EVs is especially important in China where the electric car market is growing at a rapid rate. So, clearly the stakes were high but without any previous information to rely on, the ID. R team spent many months preparing for this inaugural record attempt, first measuring the entire run using a track logger, video footage and physically checking certain sections, then collecting data on grip levels, which were then used to design a complex computer simulation.
The time finally set on 2 September by driver Romain Dumas represents the culmination of the hard work undertaken by the entire Volkswagen motorsport team. Ralf Brandstätter, chief operating officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand is justifiably proud of this achievement:
“This record run was a special challenge for the entire team. We entered uncharted territory on our motorsports expedition on Mount Tianmen. The track was a very unusual terrain for a sports car like the ID.R and we had to go in preparation and tuning the vehicle again a new direction. The entire team—from the engineers to the mechanics and logisticians—to our driver Romain Dumas has quickly adapted to this. I’m proud of what the team has done. This record will occupy a special place in the history of Volkswagen in motorsport. ”
Dumas commented on social media shortly after setting his quickest time that racing up the challenging route was an incredible experience and together with input from his team they were able to constantly make adjustments for the changing weather and track conditions to constantly improve their times over the two days.
With an altitude difference of 1374 feet between the start and finish lines of the 6.77-mile-long route, the experience the team had gained at previous venues like Pikes Peak was invaluable and the car also used a similar high downforce setup as on that run. “A new record on a truly spectacular road—Volkswagen once again proved with the ID.R what electric mobility of the future already achieves today,” continued Brandstätter. “Not only are electric cars like the ID.R improving established records and setting new standards—─the ID.R also shows how emotional and exciting the mobility of the future is. ”
While further record attempts by other manufacturers are undoubtedly going to be attempted up the Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road, the time set by the ID. R will always be the one to beat and judging by the lengths the team went to. It’s surely going to take a herculean effort to topple.
Images courtesy of Volkswagen Motorsport