“Monster” Tajima victorious on Pikes Peak
Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima combined experience, skill, Suzuki and Falken to once again claim overall victory in the 87th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Although he did not set a new record with his win, Tajima continues to hold the current overall record for reaching the peak. He drove a Suzuki Sport SX4 Hillclimb Special, and rode on Falken ZIEX S/T Z04 Pikes Peak Special tires.
“Monster’s” accomplishments are just one part of Falken’s extensive North American motorsports efforts. The company, based in Southern California, recognized the importance of drifting early on and has committed to a five-car factory effort in Formula Drift, with additional support for a number of privateer entries. Team Falken has two fully equipped trailers traveling to each event, complemented by a strong marketing program. All Team Falken Formula D vehicles use Falken Azenis RT615 rubber, and Team Falken drivers sit in fourth through sixth place in the overall championship.
In addition, Falken is laying the foundation in 2009 for a prolonged road racing program initially centered on the American Le Mans Series. The company is competing in the highly competitive GT2 class, fielding an in-house-prepared Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The car is driven by veterans Dominic Cicero and Bryan Sellers and runs on specially prepared Falken AZENIS RT slicks. The team competed at Long Beach in April and will run next at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in September. A number of private tests also are underway.
“We believe these motorsports programs are important not only to Falken in terms of building our performance image and gaining important R&D, but to our dealers as well, as they help the Falken brand stand out in a very crowded and ultimately competitive marketplace,” said Andrew Hoit, Falken Director of Marketing. “Obviously, we use these races to entertain our dealers and develop a stronger relationship with our customer, the end-user. That is most important.”
Falken is well regarded for its high performance tires, and continues to focus on the UHP (Ultra High Performance) line, while expanding its offerings to more conventional passenger vehicles as well as off-road and all-season products.