Rhys Millen will once again head to Pikes Peak this year, in the hopes of setting a new world record. The Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) team is currently building a special vehicle for the uphill climb, called the RMR Hyundai Genesis PM580, which will compete in Unlimited class and use all-wheel drive. Hyundai has released a single teaser image (above).
The current world record hold is Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, who ran a 10:01.41 on the 12.42-mile course in an extremely modified Suzuki back in 2007. Tajima’s time bested the standing world’ record of 10:04.06, set in 1994 by Rhys’ father Rod Millen.
“Breaking into the 9’s has been a dream and desire of mine for the last 10 years,” said Rhys Millen “I finally have the team, support and infrastructure to put in a serious effort to go after the world record. The main focus is to be the fastest car up the hill, slay the Monster and get the record back in the family name, the Millen name.”
Last year Millen ran a 12:09.397 in the rear-wheel drive Time Attack Class. That might not sound all that impressive, but he was essentially using his drift car and did manage to beat his nearest competitor by 1 minute, 23 seconds and besting even his own previous time by 22 seconds.
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 156 corners, nearly missing guard rails and trees, while avoiding cliffs with 2,000-foot drop-offs.
Rhys Millen Racing will officially debut the car on April 19th, with this year’s event taking place on June 27th.
See the official release and a teaser video after the jump:
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Racer Rhys Millen to Slay the Monster at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Hyundai, Red Bull and Rhys Millen Racing Launch ‘Operation: Record Retrieval’ with Construction of a New Unlimited Race Car
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., April 15 /PRNewswire/ — Hyundai, Red Bull and Rhys Millen Racing will attempt to set a new world record at the famous Pikes Peak course in an all-new, never-before-seen race car. Rhys Millen is attempting to retrieve the record from defending champion and current record holder Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima (record time of 10:01.408) and become the first racer to eclipse the storied 10-minute barrier. Rhys’ father Rod Millen tamed the 14,110-foot Colorado Rocky Mountain in 1994 with a time of 10:04.06. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) will take place on June 27, 2010.
“Breaking into the 9’s has been a dream and desire of mine for the last 10 years,” said Rhys Millen, professional race driver and founder of Rhys Millen Racing. “I finally have the team, support and infrastructure to put in a serious effort to go after the world record. The main focus is to be the fastest car up the hill, slay the Monster and get the record back in the family name, the Millen name.”
In addition, Rod Millen will be testing the new car in early June due to a scheduling conflict with one of Rhys’ Formula Drift series events.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest motor sports race in America, second only to the Indianapolis 500, and a long-standing tradition in Colorado Springs. First run in 1916, this year marks the 88th running of the thrilling “Race to the Clouds.”
The race is run on a course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the oxygen-depleted 14,110-foot summit of Pikes Peak. As the drivers climb toward the summit, the thin air slows reflexes and saps muscle strength. The thin air also robs engines of up to 30 percent of their power at the summit. It’s a true test of endurance for competitors and vehicles.
Since Pikes Peak is a natural terrain road and not a closed racing circuit the conditions in the mountains can change very quickly. Each year the road can create completely different outcomes.
RHYS VERSUS HIS RIVALS
Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, a Pikes Peak veteran, will be back this year with his 885-horsepower AWD Suzuki. Paul Dallenbach’s 800-900 horsepower open wheel rally style car is also a formidable competitor.
With more than 17 years of racing experience, Rhys Millen has established himself as one of the premier rally/drifting drivers in North America. Born in New Zealand in 1972, Rhys is the son of famed rally and off-road racer Rod Millen. Rhys joined Rod in the U.S. as a teenager and soon afterwards established himself as a racer by taking first place at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Open Division and winning Rookie of the Year. He won the Formula Drift championship in 2005 and the Red Bull Drifting World Championship in 2008.
Millen and his team are an ideal match to help launch Hyundai’s motorsports effort with the Genesis Coupe. Millen’s driving credentials include movie stunts, multiple drifting championships, a Pikes Peak world record and his 2008 New Year’s Eve Las Vegas truck flip. But behind Millen’s success in the driver’s seat is a full team of engineers and fabricators that know how to maximize the potential of a race car.
Last year at that the PPIHC, Millen won the Time Attack 2WD class in his carbon-bodied Hyundai Genesis Coupe. His time of 12:09.397 crushed the class record, but his run was not without drama. Millen started on wet pavement thanks to an afternoon shower, and then up toward the top he lost fifth gear and shredded a left rear tire, the tread delaminating with a bang just as he crossed the finish line.