David Donner managed a class win and came in second overall at the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) in June, driving a 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S, though he still didn’t achieve the result he was looking for.
Wet weather during this year’s 100th running of the PPIHC meant Donner could only manage a time of 10:34.053, which was faster than many race cars on the day, thanks to the Porsche’s all-wheel-drive system, but still slower than the 10:18.488 set in 2019 by Rhys Millen in a Bentley Continental GT, the record for production cars Donner was keen to claim.
Donner is a Colorado Springs local and has won overall at Pikes Peak on three occasions (1991, 2002, and 2005). He’s also set a number of class records, including the record for production cars, which he set in 2014 with a previous-generation 911 Turbo S. That record stood until Millen claimed it with the Bentley in 2019.
Fortunately for Donner, another attempt on the record was possible in September thanks to a new program run by organizers of the PPIHC to hold sanctioned runs outside of the usual race day. The first running of the program, known as Pikes Peak Certified Course Times, ran Sept. 26-27.
Driving the same 911 Turbo S from the June run, owned by Porsche collector Jim Edwards, Donner managed a time of 9:53.541, which is a new record at Pikes Peak for production cars. The car wore special livery highlighting the quarterly Porsche enthusiast magazine “000,” which helped bring the parties together to facilitate the run.
Donner’s car was fitted with a fresh set of street-legal Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires, and was completely stock, apart from the ECU tuning and exhaust changes allowed at the PPIHC to account for the high altitude. The course starts at 9,390 feet and climbs to 14,115 feet.
The 911 Turbo S is powered by a twin-turbo 3.8-liter flat-6 mated to an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system. Peak output is 640 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 205 mph. Donner’s car was also fitted with the available Lightweight Package offered by Porsche. The package saves around 80 lb from the curb weight by either removing components or swapping in lighter alternatives.
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