Video: Onboard a Radical at Pike’s Peak

Dominic Dobson, CART and Le Mans veteran, took a shot at the daunting Pike’s Peak hillclimb last year in a 430-horsepower, featherweight Radical. Weighing only 1,500 pounds, the wing-clad racer develops plenty of downforce that allows for some composure over the dirty, dusty mountain pass. With a level-headedness only an experienced racer can possess, Dobson effortlessly navigates the sinuous, unforgiving road.

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Despite his heart beating furiously, Dobson remains calm while suiting up for his qualifying run.

As Dobson hints to towards the end of the video, the main problem with racing at Pike’s Peak is the incredibly thin air towards the summit. At 14,114 feet, there’s not much there to pump into the cylinders; and turbocharged cars hold the current records at the fabled “Race to the Clouds.” Though in need of some boost, the atmospheric V8’s thrust is apparent, but Dobson’s smooth, conservative style keeps his rear tires underneath him at all times.

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The Radical SR8’s performance puts it ahead of modern F3 machines on many circuits.

Though slipping around noticeably at the lower parts of the course, Dobson keeps his Radical well-within its limits, turning in with a conservative amount of speed and rolling on the throttle progressively, so as to minimize any glaring slides. There is a certain amount of respect one needs to give to a course full of blind corners running alongside a cliff — but that isn’t to say he doesn’t absolutely flog the car when the road opens up. With a precise, intelligent and very quick drive, Dobson managed to win the Unlimited Class in 2015, proving that he’s still got it.

About the author

Tommy Parry

Tommy Parry has been racing and writing about racing cars for the past seven years. As an automotive enthusiast from a young age, he worked jobs revolving around cars throughout high school, and tried his hand on the race track on his 20th birthday. After winning his first outdoor kart race, Tommy began working as an apprentice mechanic to amateur racers in the Bay Area to sharpen his mechanical understanding. He has worked as a track day instructor and automotive writer since 2012, and continues to race karts, formula cars, sedans, and rally cars in the San Francisco region.
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