Vanina Ickx has raced a Gillet Vertigo to the top of the Pikes Peak in less than 11 minutes! The Quaife QBE69G equipped Belgian car took sixth place in the category; Time Attack 1.
The legendary Pikes Peak International Hillclimb has not long wrapped up, and one thing’s for sure; the 2018 race has been an eventful one. The headline result from this year’s 12.42 mile, 4,720 ft sprint up the Rockies in Colorado came from Volkswagen’s I.D. R electric prototype. Driven by Romain Dumas, it became the first car to complete the hill-climb in under eight minutes (7:57.148), breaking the outright record set by Sébastien Loeb and the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak in 2013.
Not as well known as VW’s contender, but no less intriguing, was the entrant from Automobiles Gillet. The Belgian supercar manufacturer has been trading since 1992 and headed by Tony Gillet, who took the world record for acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 1994 and was three-time FIA GT Champion in GT2. The manufacturer’s core model has been the Vertigo, which although updated over the years, is famous for its carbon fibre construction.
To celebrate the company’s 25th anniversary, Automobiles Gillet brought along their latest contender; a Vertigo specifically designed for ‘The Race to the Clouds’. Its construction is not carbon, but linen! The other headline was the vehicle’s driver; Ickx, and more specifically Vanina, the daughter of the famous Jacky Ickx, the former F1 World Championship star. As well as the prestige of conquering Pikes Peak, Automobiles Gillet’s appearance shows an intention to break into the American market and soon lead to new developments for the brand.
Prior to the Vertigo’s run, panic began to set in when the team became concerned with the QBE69G’s paddle-shift system. Scott from US Quaife distributor Taylor Race Engineering drove 12 hours through the night from Texas to Pikes Peak to troubleshoot. In the end, the issue was resolved with the 69G found not to be at fault. Indeed, Automobiles Gillet have trusted Quaife performance transmissions for years; the 69G’s predecessor, the QBE15G, was used in a number of the Belgian company’s competition vehicles of yesteryear.
With everything sorted, the Automobiles Gillet team were ready to attack. Ickx lined up the 380 hp, VW 2.0-litre powered Vertigo and set off on a highly successful run. She ended clocking up a 10’54 “901 time! With this she succeeded in achieving the goal of storming the 19.2 km long hill road in less than 11 minutes!
Our congratulations go to Jacky and the whole Automobiles Gillet team for a sterling performance…