Pikes Peak Hill Climb: Monster Tajima Wins, Rhys Millen Denied

There was a lot going on this weekend but I kept the corner of my eye on the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.  This year the story was all about Rhys Millen vs. Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima.  A while back Tajima took the unlimited record away from Rhys Millen’s dad, Rod Millen.  Rhys was none too happy about that so, he built a wicked Hyundai-powered one-off purpose-built machine.  Rhys stated his goal was not only to bring the record back to the Millen family but there were unconfirmed rumors that Rhys was actually shooting for a sub 10-minute overall time.

Meanwhile, in Japan Monster Tajima was spending an awful lot of time in the wind tunnel with his Suzuki SX4 “hill-climb special” in efforts to further improve downforce, thus providing more grip to accommodate his 910HP machine.  Rhys’ Genesis PM580 was at a significant horsepower disadvantage, maxing out at about 750HP but it also had a sizable weight advantage coming in at only 1950lbs to the 2425lbs Suzuki built by Monster Tajima.

In the end power won over weight as Monster Tajima took the win in the unlimited class by clicking off a time of 10:11 while Rhys finished with a disappointing 11:06 final time.  Right now its unclear if Rhys is time is a result of mechanical problems with the car or just a bit of bad luck but we’re sure there will be more information that in the near future.

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