Sebastien Loeb is the new ‘King of the Hill’ at Pikes Peak (w/VIDEO)

After months of anticipation, nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb has climbed the 12.42-mile, 156-turn Pikes Peak Hill Climb course in an astounding 8:13.878, destroying last year’s record time of 9:46.164 set by Rhys Millen.

Millen, who returned in a Hyundai Genesis Prototype to defend his crown managed a personal best time of 9:02.192 with Jean-Philippe Dayraut recording 9:42.740 in the MINI Countryman. Romain Dumas, who was second on the road, retired in his Norma Prototype with a broken engine.

Paul Dallenbach, who drove last year’s record breaking Rhys Millen Racing-prepared Genesis Coupé, reached the summit in 9:46.001 and in doing so established a new world record in the Time Attack class.

SEE ALSO: Showdown at Colorado Springs: The 2013 Pikes Peak Unlimited contenders.

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“At the beginning of my run there was a bit of pressure for sure because I knew there was so much work and investment from Peugeot and all the partners. Now, after all the practice, it was just down to me and I had to perform,” said Loeb.

Loeb is the first driver to reach the summit in less than 9 minutes, a feat that few even thought possible before last week. In last week’s final practice the Frenchman managed 8:25 in his 208 T16 Pikes Peak, so clinching the outright record was always on the cards. Loeb averaged more than 87mph over the 12.42-mile course.

“I knew I could achieve a 8:15 or at least 8:20, but it was still a big pressure from the start,” said Loeb. “I really didn’t expect anything better than 8:15, so to do 8m13s was fantastic.” When asked if the time could be bettered, he said “Sure, by the time I reached the summit is was snow..”

SEE ALSO: Pikes Peak: Mitsubishi spoils Toyota’s electric dreams and then gets Monstered..

With deteriorating weather conditions the Frenchman was unsure just how hard to push, but at least he started first on the road in the Unlimited class. “Before the start I didn’t really know if I should push absolutely to the maximum or if I should just push to a comfortable pace, in order to make sure of the victory. In the end, I decided to push to the limit.”

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“I think it’s fair to say that we were racing for second place today,” said Rhys Millen, who completed the course in a personal best time of 9:02.192.

“Romain Dumas and I had been really close throughout practice, but then I heard that his engine had unfortunately broken at the start. I knew I wasn’t going to beat Sebastien’s time, so I just decided to take no risks. You have to hand it to Loeb and Peugeot Sport: they were unbeatable. That time they set was simply incredible. When will it be beaten? It might never be..”

Peugeot’s assault on Pikes Peak marks the car maker’s return to Pikes Peak since back-to-back triumphs in its 405 T16 model in 1988 and 1989 by Ari Vatanen and Robby Unser. Back then Ari Vatanen took his Peugeot 405 T16 up its treacherous twists and turns in 10 minutes 47.77 seconds, but the course was mainly dirt rather than the all-tarmac surface of today’s run.

While Loeb’s record time seems unassailable, it’s not over yet for excitement at Pikes Peak, the electric powered cars from Mitsubishi, Toyota and Monster Tajima are still due to run [Find out the results]. But with snow now falling at the top the course, we’ll have to wait until 2014 before anyone gets near to Peugeot and Loeb.

For Peugeot this was a one-shot adventure (designed to raise the profile of the new 208 model) and clearly Loeb has nothing more to prove, but they’ve raised the threshold for achievement at America’s second-oldest car race.

Some say a sub-8 minute time could now be possible, but that’s just crazy… isn’t it?

SEE ALSO: Watch the full on-board video on redbull.com (select 720p on the player’s settings).

Final Results

Results (Unlimited/Time Attack/Electric classes) – June 30th 2013

Name Class Course Time Average–
Speed
Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Car
Sebastien Loeb Unlimted 8:13.878 87.471 1:28.448 1:59.765 2:23.261 2:22.404 PEUGEOT
208 T16 Pikes Peak
Rhys Millen Unlimted 9:02.192 79.677 1:36.636 2:09.864 2:36.763 2:38.929 Hyundai
PM580T
Jean-Philippe Dayraut Unlimted 9:42.740 74.133 1:41.050 2:16.171 2:41.579 3:03.940 MINI
Countryman
Paul Dallenbach Time Attack 9:46.001 73.720 1:44.806 2:22.767 2:47.980 2:50.448 Hyundai
Genesis Coupe
Nobuhiro Tajima Electric 9:46.530 73.654 1:46.281 2:20.368 2:48.194 2:51.687 E-RUNNER
Pikes Peak Special
Mark Rennison Unlimted 9:46.634 73.640 1:46.116 2:21.161 2:49.010 2:50.347 Ford
RS 200 Evolution
David Donner Time Attack 9:53.581 72.779 1:44.871 2:20.927 2:54.694 2:53.089 Porsche
911 GT3 Cup
Spencer Steele Unlimited 9:57.513 72.300 1:45.475 2:25.812 2:52.688 2:53.538 PVA
Jeff Zwart Time Attack 10:13.856 70.375 1:49.872 2:24.236 2:53.483 3:06.265 Porsche
911 GT3 Cup
Pat Doran Unlimited 10:14.187 70.337 1:48.388 2:26.210 2:57.457 3:02.132 Ford
RS200
Hiroshi Masuoka Electric 10:21.866 69.468 2:02.289 2:27.419 2:55.514 2:56.644 Mitsubishi
MiEV Evolution II
Greg Tracy Electric 10:23.649 69.270 2:00.452 2:27.585 2:56.981 2:58.631 Mitsubishi
MiEV Evolution II
Rod Millen Electric 10:24.301 69.197 1:49.442 2:30.792 3:02.696 3:01.371 Toyota
TMG EV P002
Dave Carapetyan Unlimited 10:28.315 68.755 1:51.655 2:24.590 2:59.208 3:12.862 Rally Ready
PP9
Timing & Scoring provided by North Country T&S and LiveTiming.net.