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2013-05-16 07:30

NEW LIVERY: Sebastien Loeb and his 'beast' of a Peugeot head up Mont Ventoux in a dress rehearsal for the Pikes Peak hill-climb. Image: Newspress

  Video

Nine times World rally champion Sebastien Loeb takes his 2013 208 T16 Pikes Peak out for the first test run at the high-security track at La Ferté-Vidame, in northwestern France. He is blown away by its sheer power.

PARIS, France - Peugeot chose Mont Ventoux, one of the most legendary stages of the Tour de France cycle race, for a dress rehearsal ahead of the 2013 Pikes Peak hill-climb.

The barren mountain in the south of France provided a valuable foretaste of the conditions Sebastien Loeb and his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak will face in Colorado, USA, on June 30 2013.

True, the road which climbs to the peak of Mont Ventoux, isn't as high as as Pikes Peak (1912m v. 4302m), but its characteristics make it an ideal venue for the continuing development and fine-tuning of the powerful 652kW beast.

Image gallery

Since its first outing in the hands of nine-times World Rally champion Loeb, the car has covered a great number of kilometres pounding around a circuit driven by Loeb’s understudy, test driver Gregory Guilvert.

After his recent victory on the World Rally championship’s Rally Argentina and a race last weekend in Barcelona, Spain, Loeb himself was delighted to be reacquainted with the 208 T16 Pikes Peak.

His first observation was to note that the machine’s striking new livery had in no way detracted from its grunt. “It’s the same beast of a car,” he beamed after his first run. “Driving it on a real road is a very useful pointer because that is what awaits us at Pikes Peak.

"Its handling is extremely responsive but I’m still not quite able to place it as precisely as I would like. That’s something we will need to work on a little more…”

The "taming" process will now continue in the US. The car is due to be flown out to Colorado at the end of the May 2013.

Once there, Peugeot Sport will continue the countdown to this exciting adventure - and Wheels24 will continue to keep you informed about its progress.

sub: More images of Mont Ventoux’s rehearsal are available in high resolution for editorial use only on: www.redbullcontentpool.com/content/motorsports . Compare with those in the news release.

Please diarise this coming release: Videos of the Mont Ventoux will be released on the 28th of May – VIN numbers:
-  Clip English : MI201304170120 (raw) / MI201304170121 (cleaned)
-  Clip French : MI201305060039 (raw) / MI201305060040 (cleaned)
-  Newscut : MI201304170119

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