Giti Tire To Compete At Pikes Peak With “Monster” Tajima’s Electric Vehicle
Giti Tire is returning to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to compete in the 100th anniversary of the iconic motorsports event on June 26 for the 4th consecutive year with racing legend Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and his 1,500 horsepower electric vehicle.
Not long after last year’s event, in which Tajima placed second overall and recorded his best time on the mountain ever at 09:32:401, the Giti R&D team began working on the GitiCompete GTR1 slicks for this year’s campaign. After untold hours of chemical analysis, computer simulations and real world testing, the team achieved advancements in optimizing sidewall rigidity and performance on roads with great temperature variance.
“The operating temperature variance at Pikes Peak is a significant challenge,” explained Phang Wai Yeen, executive director of Research & Development for Giti Tire. “It can be quite warm at the starting line but very cold at the top of the mountain. And the weather changes very quickly on the mountain. Sunny skies can turn into snow or showers all of a sudden. The compound must deliver stable, predictable handling to the driver no matter how the ambient temperature is changing.”
The racing machine this year, named “2016 Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept One,” is an electric racing car created by the collaboration of Tajima Motor Corporation, SIM-Drive and Rimac Automobili (Croatia). Based on the 2015 model, it has been given a new chassis, new powertrain and many other improved aspects, including the new GitiCompete GTR1 slick tires, in order to take full advantage of the high output of 1.1 MW (Mega Watt; approx.. 1,500 hp).
“Monster” Tajima is a legend at Pikes Peak, having competed there for 27 years and becoming a fan favorite. Tajima was the first competitor in race history to break the 10-minute mark when he clocked 9:51.278 to win the title in the Unlimited Division. Tajima became the first to do so in an electric powered vehicle while setting a new Electric Division record in 2013 with a time of 9:46.530. He has claimed seven titles of “King of the Mountain” in addition to recording 11 of the 100 fastest times in PPIHC history. In recognition of his long history and contribution to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, “Monster” Tajima will be inducted to the Hall of Fame this year. Further, The Penrose Heritage Museum will forever display his 1993 race machine at their “Pikes Peak Hill Climb Experience.”
“The historic 100th anniversary of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be a great showcase for Giti tire technology and help introduce the Giti name to American consumers,” said Armand Allaire, executive vice president of sales for Giti Tire (USA) Ltd.