Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima is no stranger to Pikes Peak: he’s won the International Hill Climb five times, and currently holds the record for the fastest time up the mountain. This year, he’s aiming to win again, and who is his greatest opponent? Himself.
The current best time up the 12.42-mile course is 10:01.408, set by Monster himself in 2007. Cracking the 10-minute mark is the Holy Grail, the motorsports equivalent of the four-minute mile—but just as that challenge was cracked in 1954, so too will Pikes Peak be conquered in under 10 minutes.
Tajima is driving once again for Suzuki, this time in an SX4 Hill Climb Special with 910 horsepower. He will face challenges from Paul Dallenbach, Dave Carapetyan and Rhys Millen, who was favored to be the event’s front-runner last year in his Hyundai Genesis coupe but ultimately proved to be a dud. The festivities begin this Friday, June 24th, and the racing starts on the 26th in Colorado Springs.