[adrotate group=”1″] X Games rallycross winner Liam Doran reveals Pikes Peak car at Autosport show

This rather mean-looking RS200 is the latest British attempt to conquer the mighty Pikes Peak hill climb. It’s been launched at the Autosport International show at Birmingham’s NEC today and is to be campaigned by Brit rallycross star Liam Doran.



If you haven’t heard of Liam, he’s the chap who trounced Travis Pastrana and co at the LA X Games last summer, putting a few Californian ‘extreme’ noses out of joint in the process. He also happens to be the son of rallycross legend (and 1992 European rallycross runner-up) Pat Doran.

The car itself, which was originally a German hill climb car and is the sister to Pat Doran’s former steed, has been built with the help of Forge Motorsport.

It’s a determinedly old-school effort, too, with a BDT engine like the original RS200 (albeit bored-out to 2.4-litres from 1.8) and an H-patter X-Trac five-speed transmission. There’s nothing old-school about the power output, mind. This thing puts out 925hp and 700lb ft, enough for it to manage 0-60mph in 1.7secs and has a top speed of 160mph, limited (obviously) by some fairly hardcore spoiler-age.

Said aero package consists of a Forge-developed ‘F1’ carbon fibre rear wing, a flat carbon undertray, a beefy rear diffuser and a DTM-sourced front splitter, as well as a bespoke carbon fibre body. But even this isn’t a hugely hi-tech job. We asked Alex Farrhy of Forge whether there’s been much in the way of computer-based aero work, to be greeted with a vaguely apologetic grin and the response that “we’re kind of planning to do that sort of thing in testing”.

But Doran’s attempt at Pikes Peak does have some proper backing – Monster Energy are behind the attack. “They were going to sponsor Nobuhiro Tajima [currently the only person to have managed a sub-10 minute run]”, says Liam, “but I went to them and, basically, was cheaper. Plus I’m new and fresh-faced rather than an established talent, and that’s what they were after.”

So how does he rate his chances? “I’m hoping for a time around the 10-minute mark,” he says, “but you’ve got to remember that it’s an all-Tarmac event for the first time this year, so we expect the experienced guys to be aiming for the nine-minute mark. The only real advantage we have is that everybody else is facing a new challenge as well this year – plus this car really suits Tarmac, even if I’m personally faster over gravel.”

That H-pattern gearbox shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance either, Doran hopes “We reckon on losing about 10 seconds versus a sequential gearshift, but the big advantage is reliability – if you miss a gear on a sequential gearbox you blow up the transmission, but you can get away with it more on a traditional shift.”

We wish you the best of luck, Liam – here’s hoping for a repeat of your X Games result with Pikes Peak in July…