TG drives Peugeot 208 T16
Before it heads to a museum, our tame rallyist thrashes Loeb’s Pikes Peak racer
Posted: 14 Feb 2014
After a break for lunch, the track is dry. Time for slick rubber. And everything gets really serious. Taking chunks of kerb, and braking later, the Irishman is flowing round the technical circuit faster than ever before. "I just got in and tried to drive it as fast as possible," he explains later. "At first, it felt like the car was a bit on edge, but as I got more relaxed, I pushed it more and more. I learnt that it's not a wild horse trying to buck you off. It's actually more rewarding the more you push it." This becomes obvious when we see Kris correcting the first signs of oversteer. He begins walking the tightrope of grip, constantly correcting and managing a slide to then catapult out of the corner, up the gears and into the limiter. Lap after lap, he gets quicker and quicker, until he's ushered in for the last time.
"It's another level completely when it's on slicks. It's nuts, absolutely nuts," Kris says shocked, eyes alight. "It's fascinating. I couldn't breathe in certain corners because of the g-forces. As you get more ground effect, you rely on your inputs to see how much grip is available, so you can push harder in faster corners. There are some long, long corners here, and I couldn't get a breath mid-corner. That's the first time I've experienced that. In rallying, I'm used to short changes of direction, but this car quite literally takes your breath away."