Ford Performance is heading to the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the all-electric SuperVan 4.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winds up 156 turns & 4,725 ft. to a finish line sitting 14,115 ft. above sea level.
Ford vehicles have been competing at Pikes Peak since the first event in 1916, which saw a Model T racing up the mountain.
For 2023’s effort, motorsports icon Romain Dumas will pilot SuperVan 4.
For over 100 years, Ford vehicles have been competing in the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) held just outside of Colorado Springs, Colorado. For 2023 and the 101st running of the event, Ford Performance is heading to America’s Mountain with the all-electric SuperVan 4.
The race was first held in 1916, and a Ford Model T made the climb up to the finish line sitting 14,115 ft. above sea level in a time of 28 minutes and three seconds. SuperVan 4 aims to continue Ford’s storied tradition while looking to shave more than a few minutes from the Model T’s time.
“The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the perfect next stop for Ford Performance, and is the perfect place to take SuperVan 4, as both have long, storied histories that ignite the imagination of racing fans all over the world,” stated Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “Both have evolved over time, and it’s time to take our electric vehicle technology and put it to the test on the mountain against some of the most impressive performance vehicles in the world.”
In 101 instances of the PPIHC, Ford vehicle have competed prominently with a variety of nameplates ranging from a 1916 Model T to current generation Mustangs, including a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500SE campaigned by Shelby American in 2022.
Over the years, several iconic drivers have piloted Fords up the mountain, from Stock Car Division records set by Curtis Tanner and Parnelli Jones in the 1960s, to the late Ken Block’s incredible Hoonicorn run up the mountain for Climbkhana.
For 2023, SuperVan 4 will be piloted by motorsports icon and PPIHC record holder Romain Dumas, who among other notable accomplishments is also a three-time Le Mans winner and holds several EV-powered lap records.
“Fords latest generation of Electric vehicle technology is the perfect match for America’s Mountain” said Dumas. “With high altitudes cutting power in traditional ICE powered vehicles, the electric powertrain of SuperVan 4 has no loss at elevation and will be a healthy competitor in this year’s race.
This will be Dumas’ ninth appearance at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, originally starting his time on the mountain back in 2012.
“We’re always excited to see what Romain is racing next in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He consistently arrives in unique builds that are serious contenders and fun to watch,” shared Melissa Eickhoff, PPIHC Executive Director. “This year is no different. The Ford Performance SuperVan 4 is sure to be a crowd pleaser.”
SuperVan 4, built as a joint effort between Ford Performance and STARD, takes to the mountain this year sporting an all-wheel drive system powered by a 50kWh ultra high-performance cell battery. Top the powertrain with carbon composite body features, an FIA specification roll cage, and adjustable regenerative braking, and it’s quite the hill climbing capable machine.
This marks EV and R&D specialists STARD’s most recent project with Ford Performance over a five-year relationship, including other high performance EV powertrains found in vehicles such as the Fiesta ERX™, the first line of FIA certified EV rallycross vehicles.
“SuperVan 4 is equipped with one of the world´s most powerful electric powertrains ever developed,” said STARD CEO Michael Sakowicz. “It has gone up the hill at Goodwood, rallied over WRC tarmac stages and more. Now, to send it to one of the world´s most iconic and unique events is very exciting and STARD is proud to be a part of it.”
Ford Performance will have more details to share about this year’s special effort as the event approaches.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is set to take place on Sunday June 25th, 2023. For more information on the event, visit https://ppihc.org/.
Hagerty, an automotive lifestyle brand and leading specialist insurance provider hosts a number of renowned automotive events around the world, with its leading UK events including the Festival of the Unexceptional, Radwood UK and the Hagerty Hill Climb.
Launched last year, the inaugural 2022 Hagerty Hill Climb was such a success that it returns to the iconic Shelsley Walsh Hill climb for two days of hill climbing action taking place on the 27th and 28th May, lining up some of the country’s finest road and competition cars alongside legends of Group B and WRC rallying. A must-see spectacle for any automotive enthusiast.
A rarely seen collection of motorsport stars will take to the iconic hill route including a Audi Sport Quattro, an ex-Tony Pond MG Metro 6R4, Petter Solberg’s Subaru Impreza and a Ford RS200 all of which will perform fast and furious demonstration runs. Other confirmed rally stars include a Group B Ferrari 308 GTB, Lancia 037 and BMW E30 M3 along with a Group A Ford Escort Cosworth and Mitsubishi Lancer. A rare Ford Escort 1700T and RS200 will also be presented as part of a static display
Cars like these need to be seen and heard for the full experience, and the 2023 Hagerty Hill Climb provides a rare opportunity to see and hear these wonderful racers up close while being used as intended.
Hill Climbing is one of Britain’s oldest forms of motorsport and Shelsley Walsh is regarded as one of the best hill climb venues in the world. Set in the stunning Worcestershire hills it opened in 1905, and has held events continuously since then, only pausing for World War II and the COVID 19 pandemic. Over the years, 1000s of cars have competed at Shelsley Walsh, with drivers such as Stirling Moss having tried their luck on the course. The fastest time ever on the hill was recorded in 2021 when Sean Gould completed the 1000-yard (910m) course in just 22.37 seconds.
Shelsley Walsh is also the perfect place to watch cars in action, set in stunning countryside it offers numerous places from which to spectate, and a short walk up the hill offers outstanding views of the cars and surrounding scenery. Away from the action, there will be plenty of great options for food and drink, including a fully-licensed bar, coffee shop and a number of food options to make this a great day out.
Tickets start at £25 per car, per day, meaning a family can enjoy a full day of motorsport action for less than the price of a trip to the cinema. For those who want to get even more from the day, a Driver’s Enclosure ticket us available for just £35 per person from which guests can enjoy grandstand access, complimentary food and drink and the chance to chat with drivers and owners about their cars.
For those who prefer to be a part of the action, Hagerty offers the chance for guests to drive their own car up the hill climb course priced at just £135 per day, which guarantees at least 3 hillclimb runs as well as complimentary food and drink.
Hagerty International Managing Director said “Hagerty caters for all types of motoring enthusiast from fans of modern classics and unexceptional-era cars to multi-million collections and professional motorsport teams. Events like this bring together all types of Hagerty members with a relaxed, inclusive, and interactive weekend of automotive action. This promises to be an exciting two days and I encourage guests to book tickets early to ensure entry.”
Gates open at 8.30am, with the first cars away from the start line at 9.00am. Tickets are strictly limited across all categories. To book, click here.
All 2023 Hagerty UK events, comprising Hagerty Hill Climb, Festival of the Unexceptional and RADwood UK, are open for sponsorship and exhibitor enquiries. Interested parties should email Hagerty directly for more information.
At Audi we do believe that motor sports and electric performance go together perfectly well, and we are always excited to drive transformation.
Formula 1, the pinnacle of motor sports with its global relevance and reach is the perfect proofing ground for intelligent performance and a new platform to excite new and existing customers for our brand. A highly emotional combination of high-tech and competition will be drivers of progress for all of us.
Just like our history in motor sports and our current Rally Dakar initiative shows, shaping the future of motor sports is in our DNA. And now, starting in 2026 on racetracks around the world, there will be new rings to conquer.
The 296 GT3 is the new Ferrari designed for GT racing that picks up the legacy of the 488 GT3
It marks the return to the track of a Ferrari equipped with a mid-rear-mounted six-cylinder engine like the 246 SP
The chassis and vehicle dynamics are designed to deliver performance and driving ease for professional and gentlemen drivers alike
The 296 GT3’s aerodynamics yield 20% greater downforce than that of the 488 GT3, limiting sensitivity to trim changes to a minimum
The car will debut at 2023 Daytona 24 Hours
The Ferrari 296 GT3 represents the future of the Prancing Horse in GT racing, a sector that has always seen the closest relationship with customers and the greatest transfer of technology and innovative solutions to production cars.
The 296 GT3 grew out of the 296 GTB, the latest evolution of the Maranello company’s two-seater mid-rear-engined sports berlinetta concept.
The Ferrari 296 GT3 is an innovative project, on and off the track, that the Prancing Horse manufacturer decided to develop to continue a winning tradition dating back to 1949 when the 166 MM triumphed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This is a new approach in terms of design, car management at all stages of a race weekend, electronics, and even the engine architecture, a 120° turbocharged 6-cylinder. A new concept built to meet the needs of teams, professional drivers and gentlemen drivers, on whom Ferrari has always focused. This car has been meticulously designed in every detail and from every angle, in compliance with the new GT3 regulations.
Engine and gearbox. The 296 GT3 marks the return to the track of a six-cylinder-engined Ferrari even though, in compliance with technical regulations, it doesn’t have the electric unit featured in the 296 GTB. A 120° vee configuration with equally-spaced firings was introduced for the 296 GT3’s V6 combustion engine. This is based on its road-going twin, as is the positioning of the turbos inside the vee. All this brings significant benefits in terms of compactness, lower centre of gravity and reduced mass, and also helps to achieve very high power levels. The engine, which has always been at the heart of Ferrari’s designs, is farther forward and lower down than in the road version, to the benefit of a lower centre of gravity and torsional rigidity, which is around 10% higher than in the 488 GT3.
The architecture is a winner in terms of firing order, integration of the intake manifolds and engine mounts on the intake sides of the cylinder heads: the engine is lighter and more compact having eliminated the external plenums and supports. Its internal fluid dynamics benefit from the reduction in volume, boosting intake efficiency.
Ferrari’s engineers worked with those of its partners to design and fine-tune all the engine’s internal fluid dynamics and the specific components adopted for the track version of the power unit. They aimed to provide uncompromising performance, reliability and driveability for both ‘Sprint’ and ‘Endurance’ races. For this type of competition, they did everything to limit consumption significantly without sacrificing performance, aiming for more flexible race strategies and reduced intervention times. For example, the alternator is attached to the gearbox to improve the unit’s compactness and rigidity and make it easier for technicians to access.
The gearbox of the 296 GT3 is new and specially developed for this car. The designers opted for a single-disc clutch unit with six gears, arranged transversely for better aerodynamics and weight distribution. Clutch actuation is now electronic and can be controlled from the steering wheel, rather than mechanical via the foot pedal, while the gear change is electrically actuated. The miniaturisation of the components and the use of premium materials made it possible to keep the weight of the Xtrac gearbox down, benefiting performance.
Exterior and aerodynamics. Ferrari’s future in GT racing is sinuous in form, enfolding the volumes of the 296 GTB, redefining them to meet the requirements of the track and performance thanks to the teamwork between Centro Stile, aerodynamicists and designers. This is why the car’s design, minus the aerodynamic devices or features specific to the racing version, has retained its connection to the production model. The design of the latter already refers back to vehicles such as the 250 LM of 1963, a perfect combination of simplicity and functionality.
The Ferrari engineers have been able to define an aerodynamic configuration within the homologation performance window by reducing ride height sensitivities with the aim of improving handling and driveability. This precise and detailed work on the shapes yielded a gain of 20% in downforce on the car over the previous generation. From this perspective, the 296 GT3 lives in symbiosis with the air around it, exploiting it to maximise grip and handling, benefiting gentlemen drivers and professionals alike. The challenge met by the designers was to limit the car’s sensitivity to the forces generated by aerodynamics, to provide an extraordinary balance for the benefit of driveability and driver confidence. The geometry of all the components, from the body to the wing appendages, was designed in detail under varying operating conditions and in mutual aerodynamic interaction to optimise performance and make it robust in different racing contexts, also when in the slipstream of other cars. From the front splitter to the rear extractor, which has a diffusor with a sophisticated three-dimensional design, the 296 GT3 stands out through a refined design that aims to achieve the lowest possible drag.
Cockpit. Intuitiveness, visibility and accessibility are critical to the development of the cabin design without neglecting essential aspects such as safety and comfort. In endurance racing, performance depends on these features, particularly for gentlemen drivers. The cabin was completely redesigned over the 488 GT3, in response to input from factory drivers and customers. The result is a cockpit that allows its occupant to quickly and effectively find the best driving position, with the main functions always within easy reach. Many controls and functions have moved to the new Formula 1 single seater-inspired steering wheel, while the position of the Sabelt seat provides optimal visibility, both day and night. It also adds a new level of comfort for drivers of different sizes and statures who can use the adjustable pedals and steering to find their best position in the car. The air conditioning system and airflow inside the cabin were designed to provide adequate ventilation in all conditions, helping the driver to concentrate during every stage of a race.
Chassis and vehicle dynamics. While the 296 GT3 chassis draws on the experience of the 488 GT3, it is entirely new and is made of aluminium. Besides being extremely easy and fun to drive, the 296 GT3 can exploit the grip potential offered by the tyres without compromising their integrity in just a few laps, benefiting performance and repeatability. The chassis’ extreme lightness, which in the 296 GT3 also allows better and more efficient ballast management, contributes to this. The safety structure has been carefully designed using the most sophisticated simulations and innovative technologies and research, especially in alloys and materials.
The 296 GT3 has a longer wheelbase than its road-going counterpart, within the regulatory limits, and a different suspension design to the 488 GT3, with dedicated kinematics and structures. The double wishbone arms in the front and rear suspensions are designed to offer maximum grip even at high speeds, limiting stress on the tyres as far as possible, to the benefit of tyre life, performance and reliability. The suspension, like the anti-roll bars, features the widest possible range of settings providing drivers with the best possible setup. The braking system was also revised and upgraded, with newly designed callipers and discs (now 400 mm at the front). Rotiform has developed an all- new, forged wheel homologated specifically for the 296 GT3. Encompassed in the partnership, the new Rotiform design will be the exclusive wheel offered for all factory Ferrari 296 GT3 professional level racecars.
In designing the 296 GT3, Ferrari’s engineers focused on speeding up track operations on the car during the race and pre-race. From this point of view, it is easier to modify the 296 GT3’s setup than the previous model due to more accessible mechanical and elastic components. Operations related to checks on the engine or major accessory systems were also significantly improved to cut intervention time on the car. However, the new Ferrari also differs significantly from its rivals in terms of replacing significant parts of the car. The front and rear portions can be switched in seconds due to a series of devices and solutions that ensure a quick return to the track after any damage affecting aerodynamics or performance.
Development. The 296 GT3 was developed with extreme use in mind, typical of the “Pro” classes where victory is the ultimate goal, and for gentlemen drivers, for whom racing is first and foremost about having fun. The entire project concept emerged in 2020 and went live with with the first CFD simulations and simulator models. Then came the indoor testing, which defined the car’s aerodynamic shape in the wind tunnel, the bench-tuning of the engine and rigidity testing the vehicle chassis. The car finally completed the endurance tests in Maranello’s 4WD Dyno. Since the first shakedown at the Fiorano track on 12 April 2022, the new Ferrari has completed tens of thousands of kilometres preparing it for racing, the toughest challenge of all.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS ENGINE Type F163CE, 6 cil. V 120°, 4 valves per cylinder, 2992 cm3, GDI Turbo
Bore/Stroke 88 x 82 mm
Max Power around 600 Hp* at 7250 rpm
Max Torque around 710 Nm* at 5500 rpm
GEARBOX Transversal sequential gearbox, 6 speed
Rotary e-shift actuator gearshift with paddles on the steering wheel
E-clutch actuator with paddle on the steering wheel
Magnesium gearbox case with integrated oil catch tank
Pneumatic pre-load adjustable differential
CHASSIS Tracks: 1726 mm front / 1710 mm rear
Width: 2050 mm max (without mirrors)
Wheelbase: 2660 mm
Weight (no fuel, no driver): 1250 kg
Front and rear suspension: double wishbone, tubular steel suspension arms, aluminum uprights. 5 ways adjustable dampers
Rims: Front 12,5” x 18”, Rear 13” x 18”
Tyres: Front 30/68/18, Rear 31/71/18
Brake discs: Front Ø 400×36, Rear 332×32
Brake calipers: Front 6 pistons, Rear 4 pistons
Brake pads: Front 30 mm, Rear 26.5 mm
Three Aston Martin Vantage GTEs vie for Am class honours at Le Mans
NorthWest AMR, Paul Dalla Lana, Nicki Thiim and David Pittard lead WEC GTE-Am championship ahead of world’s most famous race
TF Sport seeking to convert pole-winning form into another class victory
D’station Racing returns to La Sarthe for second attempt at Le Mans with the Vantage GTE
Three Aston Martin Vantage GTEs will fight to continue the car’s sparkling recent GT record in this weekend’s 90th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Since the turn of the decade, an Aston Martin has finished on the podium in every class it has entered at the most famous motor race of them all – including two glorious victories in 2020.
Now, with 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship [WEC] GTE-Am champion Paul Dalla Lana (CDN) and his NorthWest AMR team-mates Nicki Thiim (DEN) and David Pittard (GBR) leading this year’s class standings, and Vantage having set the pace in both the opening rounds – the 1000 Miles of Sebring in the US, and the 6 Hours of Spa – the British ultra-luxury sportscar brand starts the most important event in the endurance racing calendar as one of the favourites.
The event marks the fifth year of the Vantage GTE’s participation at Le Mans. It’s halcyon double-victory in the 2020 remains the highlight, when the works #97 Vantage driven by Alexander Lynn (GBR), Maxime Martin (BEL) and Harry Tincknell (GBR) beat Ferrari in a legendary race-long GTE Pro class duel, while team-mates Thiim, Marco Sørensen (DEN) and Richard Westbrook (GBR) finished third. In the same race TF Sport took the Vantage GTE, on its GTE Am debut, to a brilliant win for Jonny Adam (GBR), Charlie Eastwood (IRL) and Salih Yoluc (TUR).
In 2021, TF Sport came close again, taking second place in class for Ben Keating (USA) and his #33 crew. The American and the TF Sport team return this year with an even stronger line-up that includes double FIA GT world champion Sørensen and Henrique Chaves (POR). So far this season the car has started every race from pole position, before going on to finish second. The run means Keating and Sørensen are only six points behind the NorthWest AMR squad at the top of the standings.
NorthWest AMR’s owner/driver Dalla Lana (CDN) heads into Le Mans with his best chance ever of winning the French classic. WEC’s second most experienced driver, Dalla Lana is also the most successful GTE Am driver in the series’ history with 17 wins. And on his tenth visit to the 24 Hours of Le Mans a victory would be the crowning achievement of a glittering career. He’ll be supported by 2014 Le Mans GTE Am winner Thiim and Pittard – who won on his WEC debut.
TF Sport will also play an assisting role in D’station Racing’s second assault on Le Mans with Aston Martin. The Japanese team enters a Vantage GTE for Super Taikyu champions Satoshi Hoshino (JPN) and regular co-driver and team manager Tomonobu Fujii (JPN) along with rising British GT star Charlie Fagg. This promising trio is seeking to improve on the sixth place it recorded at Sebring in March.
Head of AMR Partner Racing, Huw Tasker said: “Aston Martin’s pedigree at Le Mans is unquestionable. It is a brand that knows how to win the great endurance races and with Vantage we have a car that we know can give our partners the power, speed and endurance to compete for the highest prize in the sport. We wish all our teams well as we embark on another great adventure at the Circuit de la Sarthe.”
Embarking on its fourth world championship season, Vantage remains as formidable a title contender as ever. Powered by a race-developed version of the four-litre, twin-turbo-charged V8 engine found in the road car from which it derives, this prototype derivative of the GT car was all-conquering in the WEC GTE Pro category during the 2019/2020 season. It recorded five wins from eight races, including both Pro and Am classes at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, the car took Aston Martin to the FIA GT Manufacturers’ World Championship title and carried Thiim and Sørensen to the drivers’ crown. In total it has claimed 12 class victories so far in WEC.
This year’s Le Mans will feature a record-equalling 23-car GTE-Am entry, as the race’s schedule returns to its traditional mid-June date. Practice and qualifying will run through Wednesday and Thursday while the race will begin at 1600 CET, Saturday, 11 June.
The Le Mans 24 Hours is the third round of the 2022 WEC, which features six rounds, beginning with the 1000 Miles of Sebring (USA) on 11 March, followed by the 6 Hours of Spa on 8 May. After Le Mans the series heads to Italy for the 6 Hours of Monza on 10 July. WEC then returns to Japan for the first time since 2019 for the 6 Hours of Fuji (ITA) on the 11 September. The series will then conclude with an eight-hour race in Bahrain on 12 November.