Monster Tajima in the Sport E-RUNNER electric Pikes Peak car.Enlarge Photo
Though Tajima was impressively fast behind the wheel of his Monster Sport E-RUNNER in pre-race testing, an electrical fire retired him just one mile into the course on race day. In post-race interviews, the Japanese driver was clear: “I will be back next year. Watch out for me.”
This year, Tajima faces stiff competition in the Electric class, from none other than nine-time Pikes Peak winner Rod Millen. Millen will be piloting the Toyota TMG EV P002, driven to an Electric class win last year by Fumio Nutahara. Nutahara will also be on hand to defend his title, though it’s not yet clear what the Japanese star will be driving.
Rod Millen’s son, Rhys Millen, is also back with previous sponsor Hyundai for this year’s event. Rhys Millen will be competing in the Unlimited class, while his Rhys Millen Racing teammate, Paul Dallenbach, drives Millen’s record-setting Hyundai Genesis Coupe in the Time Attack class.
The forest fire-delayed 2012 race saw 11 new records set, thanks in part to the complete paving of the course’s 12.42 mile length. For 2013, the second-oldest motorsport event in the U.S. (behind the Indy 500) is again seeing entrants from as far away as Sweden, Japan, Brazil, Poland and Latvia.
This year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is scheduled to take place on Sunday, June 30. For information on tickets, head on over to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb website.