Record holder Tajima prepares for Pikes Peak
The 88th running of Pikes Peak will see the veteran driver competing in the Unlimited division as Monster continues to show his strength in the classic “race to the clouds.” The current record, which Monster set in 2007, stands at 10:01.41. By comparison, the winning time for the first event in 1916 was 20:55.40.
Tajima will compete in his 910-hp, 3.1-liter twin turbo Monster Sport SX4 Hillclimb Special, now running on Falken’s WildPeak A/T, the powerful new line of all-terrain, all-season tires Falken launched the last quarter of 2009. In addition to new tread, the upgraded race car has seen technical improvements which have shown during pre-event testing in Japan that Tajima has the potential to eclipse the 10-minute record.
For Pikes Peak, Monster will compete on a specially designed version of the WildPeak A/T tire.
Competition will be strong as Monster is presently pitted against Pikes Peak veterans and champions in their own right, Rhys Millen and Paul Dallenbach, who will run in the Unlimited class in 2010. The race moves forward on the calendar this year, and will take place on Sunday, June 27, with race-related events all week long. Falken will have a strong presence at this year’s event, bringing key dealers to Colorado Springs to test both the WildPeak A/T and the newly introduced Azenis RT-615K. The RT-615K is the tire of choice for Falken’s Formula Drift factory team, which recently earned its first overall victory of the new Formula D season at Long Beach.
“With WildPeak A/T, Falken brings its extensive technological advantage to the established light truck/SUV tire market,” said Andrew Hoit, Falken Director of Marketing. “And while this is the first year WildPeak A/T has competed at Pikes Peak, we know what it can do off-road. We believe strongly in the capability of this tire, and we’re confident that Monster will have unparalleled traction and control, critical in managing the demanding surfaces for which Pikes Peak is known.
Tajima is no stranger to driving on dirt. In the All Japan Dirt Trial (rally sprint) Championship, he has earned nine series win. His first visit to Pikes Peak was in 1988, and in 1995, he was the first Japanese competitor to achieve the overall win. “Monster” has competed throughout the Asia Pacific Rally circuit, scoring multiple wins. “The 2010 Monster Sport SX4 Hillclimb special is fantastic,” Tajima said. “After testing it, I know that it is the fastest car I have driven and if all is good with the course, I am totally confident of breaking the record.”