Quarkus takes on Pikes Peak with its supercar!
French manufacturer Quarkus, currently developing its upcoming road-going supercar, will take part in the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb ! It's a unique event for a unique automobile. It's a real test of man and machine that unites the marque's own characteristics: technical innovation, human adventure and a desire to be challenged – all within record time. Bruce Jouanny will pilot the Quarkus P3 in the 102nd edition of the Race to the Clouds, held in the United States, 23 June, 2024.
A mountain to climb for the Quarkus P3!
With its 156 corners across approximately 20 kilometers, a 1,500 meter change in elevation for a finish at over 4,300 meters in altitude, Pikes Peak offers a unique venue. It's in this very special environment that the Quarkus P3 will make its competition debut this summer. In the middle of developing its road-going supercar, the French constructor has decided to measure itself against a legendary race, and second oldest in the United States, created in 1916. In fact, the choice of competing at Pikes Peak was an obvious one, since the renowned Ari Vatanen is a close follower of the Quarkus project. The Finnish driver won the event in 1988, setting the course record at the time.
The spirit of human challenge is present in the project, and logically, it's Bruce Jouanny who will drive the number 26 Quarkus P3. The Frenchman has been involved since the beginning of the car's existence, and brings a substantial amount of experience in competition. He has shone in multiple racing disciplines, including single- seaters, touring cars, and endurance sportscars, most notably competing several times at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
“I'm thrilled to take on this challenge and to discover Pikes Peak for the first time.” said Bruce Jouanny. “It's a legendary race which fits perfectly within the aims of the Quarkus P3 development. We often hear about real-world testing, and you couldn't dream of a better place to do that than Pikes Peak. It's a road course, but with very specific constraints: the altitude, the bumps, the hairpin corners, along with fast sections, not to mention the drop offs. It's a unique setting to challenge yourself, as a team, constructor and driver. I'm certain that we'll learn a lot on all levels.”
Born for the track, homologated for the street
On the technical side, the Quarkus P3 is much like Pikes Peak : exceptional ! The car distinguishes itself by its unique characteristics: a carbon tubular chassis, a drivetrain and suspensions developed in-house, along with a 4 cylinder engine combined to a micro-hybrid system. It produces 300hp for a weight of 600kg, making it capable of track performance in a car homologated for the road.
On the famous mountain in Colorado, the objective will therefore be to take on the distinctive challenges offered by such an event, which will ultimately benefit the road car – with specific development conducted as a consequence. Following several circuit tests, other testing is planned at altitude in the Alps.
“To take on Pikes Peak, while the first development prototype has just been presented, is clearly not a reasonable idea. No constructor does that!” admits Damien Alfano, founder of Quarkus. “But that's our philosophy : to believe in our dreams, set no limits and share this adventure with our customers and partners, who are all as passionate as us. When Bruce told me his idea to climb this monumental summit, I simply could not say no. It spoke to my heart. Now, we're going, and it's an incredible opportunity to boost the development of the Quarkus.
We have three months to complete what normally would take nine... Let's go!”
Begun at the end of November 2023, the project is also running on a tight timeline. Only a few months to prepare to climb a mountain! To lead this mission, Quarkus will count on RD Limited, the team led by four-time Pikes Peak winner Romain Dumas. The French outfit is one of the most experienced at Pikes Peak, having competed in the event since 2012, with overall wins and class victories in Time Attack 1 and Open. RD Limited will provide operational and technical support.
In addition to using biofuels, the Quarkus P3 in its Pikes Peak configuration will sport a bespoke aero kit. The car will be officially unveiled at the Prestige Auto Beaune event on 2 May.