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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.
What better way to spend more time on the trace track than to build one in your own back yard. Or better still, your front yard, as your driveway, tempting you to set a new record lap every time you return home.
That’s exactly what former Pikes Peak record holder Rod Millen has done at his New Zealand ranch.
The track itself is over a mile long, although definitely not up to FIA regulations when it comes to the width. It took several years to complete, and incorporates several traits from other Hillclimb events, including the treacherous Pikes Peak and the Goodwood Festival of Speed – where he reportedly came up with the idea in 2002.
Recently completed, Millen invited friends and fellow racers to his “Leadfoot Ranch,” where he hosted the first ever running up his driveway (the Leadfoot Festival) in celebration of his 60th birthday.
Wish you could have been there? We do too. So it’s a good thing Millen videotaped his run in his 800-hp Toyota Celica race car.
Watch the video after the jump:
Before there was Rhys Millen tearing up Pikes Peak, there was Rod Millen claiming records capturing the Unlimited crown fives times in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. But now that he has successfully handed the motorsports torch to his son Rhys Millen, Rod has taken more of a backseat approach since 2000 from Pikes Peak. Sure he followed in his son’s footsteps trying his hand at drifting a Mazda RX-8 briefly, but it’s been over a decade since we’ve seen Rod Millen at the infamous Hill Climb.
The elder Millen once held the record at Pikes Peak with a time of 10:04.06 which wasn’t broken until 2007 by Nobuhiro Tajima with a 10:01.408. And now it looks like the itch to go racing has overcome Rod Millen and he’ll be making a return to Pikes Peak on June 26th to compete in the Time Attack 2WD class while his son, Rhys Millen, will try to reclaim the record with a 9-minute run in the Unlimited division with his Hyundai RMR PM580.
Rod Millen will be competing in the RMR Hyundai Genesis coupe and this will be his first appearance since 2000. Both Millens are looking to set records in their respective divisions, with Rhys hoping to fulfill his 10-plus year old dream of breaking into the 9 minute category.
[Source: My Life at Speed]
By now, no doubt you’ve heard that Rhys Millen’s attempt to set a sub 10-minute time and reclaim the world record for his family at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb was less than successful. Not only did Millen fail to break the 10-second time, but he managed just third place with a distant 11:06.208 run after his purpose built 650-hp Hyundai race car suffered mechanical problems. Worse still, he was bested by Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima and his race-prepped Suzuki. This was Tajima’s fifth consecutive win, but wasn’t his fastest, with his best attempt back in 2007 at 10:01.41 – which bested Rhys’ father, Rod Millen’s, previous world record of 10:04.06, set back in 1994.
And while it’s no record-setting run, the team at Red Bull Racing made an incredible video out of the event which is sure to get plenty of eyeballs thanks to high production quality and the sheer awesomeness of both the event and the car.
The video documents the attempt and the challenges any team faces trying to conquer the mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Millen himself put it best in a post race interview, commenting that, “Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong today.”
Check out the video after the jump:
6versus8.com pits the EcoBoost MKS against European luxury cars in a race against the clock on a dangerous mountain pass
Lincoln has just launched a new website called 6versus8.com, aimed at promoting the new MKS sedan. The website profiles, in high production quality video, a shootout between the MKS and four of its European rivals. The challenge, says Lincoln, was to see if the Lincoln V6 could hold its own against the V8s from the U.K. (Jaguar XF), Germany (BMW 550i and Mercedes E550) and Italy (Maserati Quattroporte). The location was Loveland Pass in Colorado.
The wording and even the website name is more than just a little misleading, however, as the Lincoln V6 is no normal V6, featuring not only two turbochargers, but also sophisticated direct-injection technology. For a V6, the Lincoln has plenty of power with 355hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque. For the record, that’s 5 less horsepower and 10 fewer ft-lbs than in the 4.8-liter BMW.
Additionally, at the 12,000 foot altitude at which the test was performed, the turbocharged Lincoln is at a natural advantage. With lower oxygen levels in the air at 12,000 feet, the naturally aspirated V8s aren’t performing optimally, while the Lincoln’s two turbochargers can compensate for the high altitude by working harder to achieve the same output.
In order to be “non-biased” Lincoln worked with Motor Trend and Automobile magazines, which timed the runs and even provided the driver: Rod Millen.
Still, as we’ve already mentioned, this is hardly a fair fight.
Considering Ford (and not the cash strapped and recently out of bankruptcy protection magazines) most likely paid for the whole thing, we’re quite surprised that (SPOILER ALERT) Lincoln didn’t win. The MKS did, however, manage second place, with the BMW 550i taking first. Third place belongs to the Mercedes, fourth to the Jag and dead last to the QPorte.
Ford (Lincoln) will be the real marketing winner out of this, however, as the company is cleverly using techniques like this to break down the barriers that car buyers (domestic car buyers in particular) have against smaller displacement turbocharged or supercharged engines. Ford wants to make people re-think the phrase “There’s no replacement for displacement” before it goes dropping the EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine into vehicles (like the Mustang of F-150) targeted at more traditional buyers.
Even knowing the results, we suggest you watch the videos for their pure entertainment value.
See all the videos here: