For the Pikes Peak hill climb race of 2018 Gillet Automobiles from Belgium built a unique version of their Vertigo supercar. Traditionally the Vertigo is built with carbon fibre bodywork. For this special occasion though, a completely custom bodywork was made with Bcomp’s ampliTex™ and powerRibs™ solutions.
Race to the Clouds
The Pikes Peak International Hillclimb is a historical race, dating back to the year of 1916. The race takes place in the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Starting at an elevation of 2’862 m.s.l. the road climbs over 1’439 m to the top of the summit of Pikes Peak at 4’301 m.s.l. and has over 156 turns.
Over the years the construction of the Vertigo has been updated several times, but it has kept its carbon fibre structure. For its 25th anniversary Gillet Automobiles have gone the extra mile of designing a new car from scratch just for the iconic Pikes Peak race. The car was designed around its driver Vanina Ickx, daughter of former F1 World Champion star Jacky Ickx. The bodywork for this unique car was designed with natural flax fibres instead of conventional carbon fibre. Bcomp’s solution with ampliTex™ technical fabrics and powerRibs™ reinforcement grid allowed the engineers to create parts with comparable weight to carbon fibre parts, produced with the same established manufacturing techniques.
The flax fibres shine with their inherently outstanding damping properties, safe crash behaviour without any sharp debris as well as an up to 75% lower CO2 footprint cradle to gate. Belgium being one of the biggest producers of flax fibres, it was only fitting that Belgian Gillet Automobiles would be using a material that grows in its own backyard.
On June 24th, Vanina Ickx successfully piloted the flax clad Gillet Vertigo to a 6th place in the Time Attack 1 category. She raced the 19.2 km road to the top of Pikes Peak in less than 11 minutes.