Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima took his tenth Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Championship, this time in the Electric Auto division, and set a new record in the process.
Last year was the first time Tajima switched from gas to electric, and although he started strong, he ultimately failed to finish when he had to shut down due to a fire in the vehicle. The nine time Unlimited division champion had considerably better luck this year.
Tajima drove the electric 2013 E-Runner Pikes Peak Special and snagged a victory as well as setting an electric record. He ran the course in 9:46.530 which beats the 9:51.278 time he clocked back in the 2011 race in a Suzuki SX4, when he was the first to break the ten-minute barrier. Monster’s time was nearly half minute better than the record (10:15.380) set by Fumio Nutahara in a Toyota electric last year.
The racers in the Electric division set off in the early afternoon, after the Unlimited and Time Attack divisions. By this time, the upper part of the mountain course saw a mix of hail, snow, and rain. This is what made Monster’s record time even more impressive. The road surface was still wet and clouds and fog made for low visibility in some places. Thankfully, the team from Giti Tire worked tirelessly over the week leading up to the race and gave Tajima-san the best combination of tire compound and tread pattern to get the traction he needed.
Records were set all around, most notably with Sébastien Loeb setting a new Unlimited record of 8:13.878 in a Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak model. France’s Bruno Langlois grabbed a win and set a 1205 Class record of 10:21:323 on his 2013 Ducati Multistrada and Jeffrey Tigert’s time of 10:32.964 on a 2013 Honda CRF450 set a new 450 Class record.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.