Step into the world of radical racing and prepare to be amazed by the awe-inspiring Radford Pikes Peak Edition Type 62-2. This extraordinary prototype racer, born from the revival of the iconic Radford marque by Ant Anstead and Jenson Button, is set to conquer the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb with its mind-boggling speed and daring design.
Tanner Foust, the fearless driver tasked with taming this featherweight beast, declares, “I know this car is going to be a beast.” However, let me assure you, this car is nothing like its road-going counterpart. While it retains the name and a semblance of the silhouette, everything else about the Radford Pikes Peak Edition is a whole new ball game.
Let’s tiptoe through the marvels that lie beneath the surface of this exceptional machine. Instead of the aluminium chassis found in Type 62-2, the PP Edition boasts a wide composite monocoque, ensuring maximum stability. The front and rear subframes have been completely redesigned, with a new suspension geometry that perfectly complements the car’s aggressive appearance.
But what truly catches the eye are the stunning carbon fibre aerodynamic additions that transform this car into a formidable opponent ready for battle. Every aspect has been meticulously honed to achieve optimal cooling, maximize power, and enhance aerodynamic efficiency. A roof scoop and an imposing “gooseneck rear airfoil” (a fancy way of saying “massive wing”) top off the package, leaving no doubt about this car’s serious intentions.
Under the hood, the 3.5-litre supercharged V6 engine remains, albeit with significant upgrades. Only the lower block is shared with the road car, as this incarnation produces a mind-blowing 700 horsepower, compared to the already impressive 605 horsepower of its predecessor. The power is delivered to the rear wheels via a paddle-shift sequential gearbox, propelling the car from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 2.2 seconds. With a top speed of 160 mph, the Radford Pikes Peak Edition is unquestionably an awe-inspiring machine.
However, conquering Pikes Peak presents its own unique challenges. The unforgiving altitude takes its toll not only on the driver but also on the car. With decreasing power and diminished air particles for cooling and downforce, the PP Edition had to undergo substantial modifications to its cooling system to withstand the punishing conditions of the famous hill climb.
The car’s stopping power is entrusted to AP Racing, who supplied fresh carbon discs, pads, and a new pedal box for this special one-off creation. As expected, only one seat graces the cockpit, positioned centrally for optimal weight distribution. Weighing a mere 3.7 kilograms, the FIA-approved seat perfectly complements the car’s featherweight status. In fact, the entire PP Edition weighs an astonishing 861 kilograms, shedding around 200 kilograms compared to its road-legal counterpart. This remarkable feat is achieved by implementing lightweight measures, including over 70 3D-printed components and a lightweight battery.
Furthermore, the exterior of this beast is adorned with the iconic JPS livery, paying homage to a legendary era in racing history. The last time a JPS race car roared into action was during the 1986 F1 season with the great Ayrton Senna behind the wheel. Radford has beautifully captured the essence of that era with this extraordinary creation.
It’s important to recognize that the Radford Pikes Peak Edition is a product of international collaboration. Teams from Austria, France, the USA, and the UK have come together to provide Tanner Foust with a machine he feels comfortable in. Foust acknowledges the challenges ahead, of the exhibition.