Volkswagen Motorsport, with the help driver Romain Dumas, crushed yet another record over this past weekend. This time it wasn't just an electric-car record, but the overall record up the famous FOS hill—finally toppling the twenty-year-old record by a massive 1.7 seconds.
The Volkswagen ID.R is the first all-electric car to hold the overall record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, completing the climb in just 39.90 seconds. The previous record of 41.60 seconds was held by Nick Heidfeld in the 1998 McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 Formula One car.
“In setting the new all-time record at the ‘Goodwood Festival of Speed,’ the ID.R has once again shown that Volkswagen’s electric powertrain can outperform even the most powerful conventional powertrains,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “Romain Dumas exploited the full potential of the ID.R on this short but tricky track. After the victory on Pikes Peak and the e-record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, he has now achieved another milestone for electromobility. It was a strong performance from our whole team, which only had a very short time, in which to get a lightweight variant of the ID.R up and running for the ‘Festival of Speed.’”
By this point, Dumas is no stranger to setting records on tracks around the globe. Last year, he set the electric car record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the VW ID.R, and we wrote about his record runs at Pikes Peak, and most recently the Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
“I am very proud to have set the all-time record in Goodwood with the ID.R. The short hillclimb is a very special challenge," said Romain Dumas. "Because the track is so short, I could not afford to make even the slightest mistake, and every aspect of the fine-tuning of the ID.R had to be perfect. That was particularly challenging, as we were not able to test on the route beforehand,” Dumas added.
Setting any record at the historic Goodwood Festival of Speed is no easy task. The sub-forty-second run required extensive changes to the car coming from the Pikes Peak and Nürburgring-Nordschleife record runs, the most notable being the extreme weight loss. “We used a smaller battery than at the Nürburgring and optimized the power output. As such, the new sprint version of the ID.R weighs less than 1,000 kilograms, with the driver on board,” said François-Xavier Demaison Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport. The other major change to the car from the previous record attempts was the removal of the DRS system used at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, which is unneeded for the hillclimb that favors high-downforce.
Another significant change to the ID.R for this attempt was the tires. Only having to run for 1.86 kilometers (or as you know, under 40 seconds) a new, unique tire compound was developed. The previous 1999 record-breaking run was set on Bridgestone tires, so it only made sense for Bridgestone to develop the tires for this run. “We are proud to have been part of this project and the new record in Goodwood. To ensure the Volkswagen ID.R had the best tyres for this track, we developed a particularly soft variant of the Bridgestone Potenza slick,” said Mark Tejedor, Vice President OE Bridgestone EMEA. “We are obviously delighted that Bridgestone is still the tyre on the record-breaking car, even after more than 20 years.”
With another record under VW Motorsport and Romain Dumas' belt, what record will they try to tackle next and where might we see those technological advancements trickle down to. Maybe some of those advancements will end up in the next generation of the VW GTI TCR. As always, if you're interested in learning more about our TCRs and the team behind them, our original series, The Paddock, gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the cars and what it takes to run them competitively.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore