Hyundai Makes Driver Change Before Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Paul Dallenbach backed out of the 102nd running, with Randy Pobst taking his place…

Hyundai has been preparing to set the Electric Production SUV/Crossover Record at The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb brought to you by Gran Truismo with the newly introduced IONIQ 5 N in two different trim levels. After a recent incident the team was forced to make a last-minute driver change for race day on June 23.

The production Hyundai IONIQ 5 N was going to be driven by 11-time Pikes Peak King of the Mountain Paul Dallenbach and rookie Ron Zaras. Meanwhile the race-spec examples would be driven by four-time King of the Mountain Robin Schute and Hyundai rally driver Dani Sordo.

Hyundai Makes Driver Change Before Pikes Peak Hill Climb | THE SHOP
Hyundai Ionia 5 N Time Attack Spec

Due to the unique nature of the racetrack and the varying weather conditions, it’s no surprise that the “Race to the Clouds” often causes some driver shakeups before the event. On June 9, during an optional tire testing on the mountain, Paul Dallenbach was involved in an incident that broke his right leg, forcing him to withdraw from the race.

Dallenbach went through surgery later that day to repair his leg. A post from @Bryanhertamotorsport on Instagram features a quote from Paul.

Hyundai Makes Driver Change Before Pikes Peak Hill Climb | THE SHOP

When Dallenbach pulled back from the mountain, another King of the Mountain was unscheduled to run in this year’s event. Once the Hyundai team ensured it could still run a four-car field, Randy Pobst was invited to replace Dallenbach. 

A driver change is common in many racing series but Pikes Peak is often particular about last-minute additions, largely because of safety concerns surrounding the event.

As Pobst is both familiar with the mountain and familiar racing electric vehicles, it made sense he would be able to slot in. Pobst has driven Tesla Plaid models in recent years and won in the Exhibition division.

Pobst was not able to qualify but Hyundai saw success with Sordo leading the Exhibition Division, Zaras in second and Robin Schute 4th in the division after qualifying.

Check back with THE SHOP Daily for complete results and news coverage following the 102nd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 23. 

Pat Curtin

Pat Curtin is the managing editor of THE SHOP magazine.

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