Despite Rhys Millen’s best efforts, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima managed to walk away with an overall victory at the 2010 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb — his fifth consecutive win on the Colorado mountain.
Tajima managed to blitz his way to the 14,110-foot summit in a scant 10 minutes and 11.490 seconds. An impressive time, certainly, but it does fall short of Monster’s own record of 10:01.408, achieved in 2007.
As he did in 2009, Monster piloted a customized machine — bearing only a slight resemblance to a stock Suzuki SX4 — to the top of Pikes Peak. For 2010, the car received some aerodynamic enhancements and an extra 25 horsepower, bringing output of the twin-turbocharged 3.1-liter V-6 to a whopping 910 ponies.
Millen drove an equally impressive machine — the 715-horsepower PM 580 — but failed to achieve his two goals: best Tajima, and set a new record for the course. Millen managed to post an 11:06.208 time, ultimately landing him on the third place podium behind Paul Dallenbach, who earned a second-place finish with a time of 10:39.534.
Rhys’ drive to break the nine-minute mark on Pikes Peak wasn’t just an arbitrary goal; it was quite personal. In 1994, Rod Millen managed to set a record time on Pikes Peak by conquering the mountain in 10:04.06. That time stood as an official course record until 2007, when Monster blitzed his way into the history books.
What’s next? Expect both competitors to further escalate their vehicles and their game, and return to Colorado in 2011 for yet another grudge match.
Source: Suzuki, PPIHC