Bentley has been dethroned as the production car king of Pikes Peak. A 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S driven by Pikes Peak veteran David Donner took on the hill in late September, smashing the previous record with a time-to-climb of 9 minutes 53.5 seconds.
The time to beat was 10 minutes 18.4 seconds, set by a beefy Bentley Continental GT in 2019. Donner and the #000 Porsche team had wanted to claim the record during the 100th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) event earlier in the year, but wet conditions slowed the near-stock 911 Turbo S to only 10 minutes, 34 seconds. The time was fast enough for a class win and a second-place finish overall, but the team believed the 911 could break the 10-minute barrier for production cars.
Gallery: Porsche 911 Turbo S Pikes Peak Production Car Record
Rather than wait another year, Donner made use of a new Pikes Peak International Hill Climb programme that allows for certified course times to be set outside of race day. He returned on September 27 with the identical car, passed the same tech inspection, and then obliterated Bentley's record by 25.9 seconds.
"Capturing the production car record at the 100th was our goal, and we were happy to finally see what this car can do," said Donner. "We were blessed with clear weather to set fast times without practice on two cold mornings in suboptimal light. The PPIHC and Pikes Peak Highway were very supportive and accommodating, and the new certified Course Time will allow others to make their mark on Pikes Peak for years to come. Our team is thrilled to be a part of getting this programme off the ground."
The only modifications to the Porsche were for safety and calibrations to run at high altitudes. That includes a roll cage, racing seat, fire systems, and allowable changes to the engine computer and exhaust system. Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tyres were used for the run.
In standard trim, the Porsche 911 Turbo S pumps out 641 bhp, though a specific power output for the record run isn't mentioned. The course starts at an elevation of 9,390 feet (2,862 metres) and ends in the thin air at 14,115 feet (4,302 metres), hence the need for calibrations.