With snow falling on “America's Mountain,” tech inspection begins today for the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and five-time race champion and current record holder Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima of Japan is once again looking to conquer the competition with his GoPro Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special, riding on Falken tires.
Much attention will remain focused on the Unlimited Division, where Tajima will face strong competition in the challenge to earn the overall win and set a new record. The current time of 10:01.408 was established by Tajima in 2007. Pikes Peak officials estimate that some 8,800 attempts have been made to crack the 10-minute mark at the Hill Climb since the venerable race began in 1916.
The defending “King of the Mountain” will be a prohibitive favorite when he takes the wheel of his Suzuki – powered by a 910hp, 3.1-liter twin-turbo V6 – on race day, but he faces challenges from veterans Rhys Millen, Paul Dallenbach, Dave Carapetyan and France's Jean-Philippe Dayraut, who will each bring a potent vehicle in their goal to wrest the title from Tajima.
“This is an incredibly dynamic event, which continues to draw competitors from around the world, bringing vehicles that produce incredible numbers in horsepower, as we all witness the determination and car control each driver displays as they go against the mountain,” said Nick Fousekis, Falken's director of motorsports marketing and events. “We are both honored and proud to support, with Falken products, Mr. Tajima as he attempts to break his own record and the 10-minute mark.”