When you go and build a race car out of a mundane minivan, there are some opportunities you absolutely have to take advantage of – like going to McDonald’s.
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The world’s most famous hill climb and America’s second-oldest motorsports race will be live streamed online for the first time in its 91-year history.
There will be a MINI in the Pikes Peak International hill Climb with with French driver Jean-Philippe Dayraut behind the wheel.
Two of Pikes Peak’s most seasoned veterans will have a showdown at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb when Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and Rod Millen face off in the Electric Auto Division.
After an announcement that it would be postponed as a result of wild fires, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb has now been rescheduled for August 12th.
With a record number of media credentials already confirmed and a total of 211 competitors signed on, this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been postponed due to wildfires near the event venue in Colorado Springs.
Racing driver Walter Rohrl, Group B monster Audi Sport quattro S1, and the treacherous Pikes Peak Hill Climb are iconic in and of themselves, but when combined, it marks a legendary moment in the history of motorsports.
25 years ago, when the 4,301 meter hill climb was pure gravel, Rohrl threw his Audi around 156 cliff-side corners, four-wheel drifting his way to the summit to set a record breaking time of 10 minutes, 47.85 seconds.
Since then, Rohrl has been dethroned by the likes of Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and the Unlimited class Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special, climbing the modern Pikes Peak in 9 minutes 51.278 seconds. However, the hill climb course itself is now completely paved with tarmac and while that provides better grip for the cars to climb faster, this dampens the sheer danger and spectacle of its gravel past.
This year, Walter Rohrl and his record-setting Audi Sport quattro S1 will return to Pikes Peak for an exhibition drive. Although Rohrl will not be competing on the main event, race fans will certainly be excited to see their childhood heroes back together again.
Check out footage of Walter Rohrl’s 1987 Climb in his Audi Sport quattro S1 after the jump: Continue Reading…
Last year, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima became the first driver to ever break the 10 minute barrier during the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
There’s no questioning Tajima’s reign on Pikes Peak, but this might surprise you. It appears that the famed driver is looking to surprise everyone by campaigning in an electric car for this year’s climb.
“This year we will challenge the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with EV (Electric Vehicle). I will challenge breaking my world record and would like to win seven consecutive victories,” Tajima wrote on his Facebook page.
Not only is he looking to break the EV record for the Hill Climb this year, he wants to reset the overall record that he set last year. Yeah, Tajima not only wants to shock the world by racing an EV up Pikes Peak, but he wants to do it in a fashion that solidifies EV performance. It’s actually not such an outlandish idea, considering EVs aren’t hindered by the increased elevation like a standard gasoline engine is.
Tajima’s Team APEV Monster Sports is still in the process of assembling the electric car so details are light on it currently. We’re not too far off from the actual event, so we’ll keep a close eye out for additional releases on what Tajima has up his sleeve this year.
One special Mitsubishi i-MiEV city electric car gets pumped up with performance enhancers as the Japanese automaker prepares to enter an all-electric race car into the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Details are limited for now, but Mitsubishi says the new i-MiEV hill climb prototype will be based upon many of the same production model components. However, judging from the illustrations, “production based” is loosely interpreted. Designed with a center single-seat driving position, the rendered i-MiEV hill climb prototype is significantly wider and more aerodynamically stylized than the standard road car.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be held on July 8th and the specialized i-MiEV will be piloted by Hiroshi Masuoka, a two time Dakar Rally winner in 2002 and 2003 behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi Pajero.
GALLERY: Mitsubishi i-MiEV Hill Climb Prototype
Three time French ice racing champ Jean-Philippe Dayraut has accomplished a lot in his career, but he’s always wanted to race, and win, at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. He accomplished one of the two last week, and despite plenty of enthusiasm, finished just third in on what is recognized as the most challenging event of its kind.
With a time of 10 minutes and 17 seconds, Dayraut was 26 seconds off of Monster Tajima’s record-setting sub-10 minute run and 8 seconds behind Rhys Millen. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, with Tajima a veteran of the mountain and Millen having competed there many times before. Dayraut, however, had just three days to prepare and his purpose-built Nissan GT-R powered mid-engine Dacia Duster race car was built in just three months.
“It’s got to be the most incredible and craziest event I have ever done,” he said after reaching the peak. “The mix of asphalt and gravel calls for special driving skills and I am thrilled to have finished on the podium and competed up there with best.”
But Dayraut’s story doesn’t end there. In a release issues by Dacia parent company Renault, there’s a big hint that the team will be back to contest for the win next year.
GALLERY: Dacia Duster Pikes Peak No Limit
“B-Spec Rally Fit” and “Desert Pilot” sound like the names of Steven Seagal characters, but they’re actually Honda’s attempt to tackle the 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
The Rally Fit is a modified version of the Fit that aims to keep things as stock as possible, while the Desert Pilot makes no pretentions about its purpose-built roots.
The Fit is designed for rallycross and stage rallying, and features a roll cage, new suspension, 205/50R15 BFGoodrich R1 tires, and camber adjusters. It debuted at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill last year and will feature parts available from Honda Performance Development available at dealers.
The Desert Pilot stems from Honda’s CR-R stock Honda Ridgeline entries in the Baja 1000, which won in its class twice. It features a tubular space-frame chassis built around a modified version of Honda’s 3.7-liter V6, churning 400 horsepower behind the drivers. Widened bodywork, four-wheel independent suspension with King shocks, and 35-inch BF Goodrich tires turn the Pilot into something a little cooler than your aunt’s Home Depot shuttle.
Both are expected to race at Pikes Peak on July 26th. After that, the Desert Pilot will race in Class 6 in a variety of off-road events, finishing with the Baja 1000. The B-Spec Fit will be raced in more rallycross events.
Click the jump to see what the Fit looks like.
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.