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Hyundai Renews Its Ties To Rhys Millen Racing


Hyundai's upcoming Unlimited Class Pikes Peak racer - image: Hyundai

Hyundai's upcoming Unlimited Class Pikes Peak racer - image: Hyundai

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In August of last year, Rhys Millen set a new record for a run up the 12.42 mile Pikes Peak Hill Climb course, behind the wheel of his race-prepped Hyundai Genesis Coupe. When he crossed the finish line at the top of the mountain, just 9:46.164 had elapsed.

Just over one month later, Millen’s automotive spouse, Hyundai, was filing for divorce. Instead of “irreconcilable differences,” Hyundai blamed the split on a need to “look at how and where it would spend marketing dollars in 2013.”

For Millen, that was the equivalent of being told “it’s not you - it’s me,” and we’re not sure that any partner in the breakup of a relationship was ever comforted by those words. In the off-season, Millen searched for sponsors, while simultaneously selling off the various bits and pieces of his Hyundai-sponsored days.

On Monday, Hyundai announced a change of heart, saying it would sponsor Millen’s efforts at Pikes Peak for the 2013 season. In addition to a Hyundai Genesis Coupe racer, entered in the Time Attack 2WD class, Millen will run an Unlimited Class car built around Hyundai’s Lambda V-6 engine.

Hyundai says the build will start with a production engine block, cylinder heads and bearings, but that final output is expected to exceed 900 horsepower. That’s quite a jump up from the 348 horsepower produced by the Lambda V-6 in a production Genesis Coupe. Expect the car to carry a body loosely based on the Genesis Coupe, too.

We don’t mean to sound shallow, but we’d probably take back any former partner who dangled the keys to a 900 horsepower race car in front of our noses. For now, the deal extends to the Pikes Peak effort only, which likely leaves Millen in need of sponsorship for his Global Rallycross Championship and Formula Drift efforts.
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