Sebastien Loeb completed the first meaningful test of Peugeot's 208 T16 Pikes Peak in southern France this week. The Frenchman drove the 208 to the top of Mont Ventoux.
While the 6,273ft summit of the Provence mountain is still almost 3300ft short of the Pikes Peak start (the Colorado mountain course finishes at 14,110ft), the roads to the top were all asphalt and similar terrain to what awaits Loeb next month.
Loeb said it had been instructive to drive the car on the kind of roads it was designed for, but admitted there was still work to be done on the 208.
"Driving it on a real road is a very useful pointer because that is what awaits us at Pikes Peak," he explained. "Its handling is extremely responsive, but I'm still not quite able to place it as precisely as I would like. That's something we will need to work on a little more."
There will be further tests in France, before the car is shipped to the U.S. at the end of May. Once Stateside, Peugeot Sport will have just over three weeks to fine-tune the car ready for the June 30 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Joining Loeb in Provence was the 208 T16 Pikes Peak's predecessor, the 405 T16 which was driven for promotional purposes by Gregory Guilvert, the man responsible for much of the 208's early running.