With plenty of lead up to its introduction at the 88th annual Pikes Peak Hillclimb, the Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis PM580 didn’t deliver on any of its promises and instead was overshadowed by the Suzuki of Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima. Rhys Millen had set out to break the 10 minute barrier on the treacherous mountain and reclaim the record for his family. (Rhys’ father Rod set a record of 10:04.06 in 1994, which Tajima topped in 2007 with a 10:01.41).
Tajima once again came out on top on the weekend’s race, claiming his 5th consecutive overall win at America’s second oldest race with a 10:11.490. In second was three-time hillclimb champion Paul Dallenbach with a 10:39.534 run. As for Millen, he placed a distance third with an 11:06.208 run after his purpose built 650-hp Hyundai race car suffered mechanical problems. “Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong today,” said Millen.
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb, which takes place annually on Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado, starts at an elevation of 9,300 feet and finishes at an elevation of 14,110 feet – where the air is so think drivers’ reaction times begin to slow and their race car engines lose 30 percent of their power. Drivers drift around 146 corners in 12.42 miles of track made up of dirt and asphalt, nearly missing guard rails and trees, while avoiding cliffs with 2,000-foot drop-offs.
[Source: Associated Press]