Touareg TDI Sets Benchmark in High Performance Showroom Stock Division
Volkswagen of America, Inc. scored the top spots in the High Performance Showroom Stock division at the 85th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) on Saturday, July 21, 2007. Volkswagen entered two V10 TDI Touaregs and a V6 TDI Touareg, driven by professional drivers Ryan Arciero, Mike Miller and Chris Blais. Arciero put on a strong performance on his way to winning the division with a time of 13:17:703, setting a new division record for the fastest time with a diesel powered vehicle. Mark Miller finished closely behind with a time of 13:25:247, and Chris Blais took third with a time of 15:48:312.
"The Volkswagen team put in a lot of hard work during practice and qualifying and it paid off in this historic race," said Arciero. "The V10 TDI is an amazing motor, and the Touareg chassis is so well balanced that it performs more like a true race car than a premium SUV. Shaving nearly a minute off last year's record time is a true testament to this vehicle's capability."
Miller posted a very competitive time as well, just 7.544 seconds off the pace set by Arciero. Throughout practice and qualifying, the drivers were rarely separated by more than 0.5 seconds.
"I lost some time when I got off-line and scrubbed an embankment towards the top of the mountain," said Miller. "But the Touareg kept pulling strong and I was still able to put together a great time."
Touareg number three, driven by motorcycle racer, Chris Blais, suffered a mechanical set back early in the first practice session. The team rallied to help get Chris back on the mountain in a V6 TDI, and he was able to compete in his first ever four-wheeled vehicle race.
"Working with Ryan, Mark and the entire Volkswagen Team to compete at Pikes Peak was an incredible experience," said Blais. "The Touareg is an impressive vehicle, and no doubt the all-wheel drive system helped me with the transition from two to four wheels. I was really pleased that my times improved with each run up the mountain."
Video footage of the race from the Touaregs can be seen at http://www.vwvodcast.com/, providing a first-hand perspective of the race to the summit of Pikes Peak, an elevation of over 14,100 feet.
Volkswagen raced the Touaregs at Pikes Peak with support from Red Bull, Castrol, Nitto Tires, Oakley and Arciero Miller Racing.