“Monster” Tajima claims overall victory in the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
Monster, who has competed at Pikes Peak since 1989, took the win with plenty of drama. For the final half mile of his attempt, Tajima had to contend with an overheating radiator, as his 910-horsepower Suzuki began to boil over. Wind gusts also threatened his effort, as he negotiated his race car through 156 turns from the start at 9,390 feet to the 14,110-foot summit.
The 60-year-old Japanese driver covered the 12.42-mile course in 9 minutes, 51.278 seconds, driving his GoPro Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special equipped with Falken tires.
Before the race, Tajima predicted he would break the course record, finish under 10 minutes and win this special event, which was the final time the course would include a section of gravel. New Zealand-born Rhys Millen was second in 10:09.24 in his Hyundai-powered RMR PM580 and Jean Philippe Dayraut was third in 10:17.77.
“This is a great day for Monster and for Falken Tire,” exclaimed Nick Fousekis, Falken's Director of Motorsports Marketing and Events. “The confidence Nobuhiro brought to Pikes Peak was clearly evident and we share in the joy of his accomplishment. I want to give a special thank you to our marketing partners, GoPro Cameras, HRE Wheels, and Mobil 1 Oil.”