Rhys Millen Wins Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with Record-Setting Run
Throw a world-class racing driver, a challenging course, and a really big turbocharger, and you've got a recipe for entertainment. Entertainment and success: racing driver Rhys Millen set a world record this past weekend on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb behind the wheel of a souped-up Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
Millen and his Hyundai Genesis Coupe finished the 12.42-mile, 156-corner course in 9:46.164, shattering his 2011 time of 10:09.242, and beating the record set by Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, a record-setting 9:51.278. Millen now holds the course record.
Much of the record can be attributed to Rhys Millen and his driving skill, but much of the credit also goes to Millen's Hyundai, a Rhys Millen Racing-tuned Genesis Coupe. Millen's ride started in life as a Genesis Coupe with Hyundai's 3.8-liter V-6 engine, but RMR technicians added a Garrett GTX3582, a 62.5-mm turbocharger that boosts the car's power output from 348 hp to 700. The car also produces a healthy 700 lb-ft of torque. To keep the car from literally flying off the mountain, RMR fitted an aggressive aerodynamic kit that produces even more downforce than last year's model, racing slick tires, upgraded brakes with more cooling ducts, and a large rear wing.
All of those aerodynamic tweaks seem to have worked well, as Rhys Millen finished his run in record time and without calamity. The same unfortunately can't be said about Jeremy Foley, who ran off the course at turn 16 and rolled his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII down a long hill. Foley and his co-pilot were reportedly air-lifted to--and then released from--a local hospital. The amazing video of the crash is below.
Millen may have set the course record, but that doesn't mean he didn't have stiff competition. Millen won the Time Attack class of production car-based racers (each car must be a model that sells at least 2500 units a year), beating the second-place finisher by about 34 seconds, but second place overall went to a Pikes Peak Open challenger named Romain Dumas, who piloted his returned a 9:46.181, just 17 thousandths of a second behind Millen. If Dumas' name sounds familiar, it's for good reason: he's one-third of the 2010 Le Mans-winning Audi Sport North America team, and one-third of the Audi Sport Team Joest team that came in 5th at Le Mans this year. Dumas' ride: a Haribo-bear-approved Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Pictured below is the RMR Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Romain Dumas with his Porsche 911 GT3 RS.