Pikes Peak’ Electric Auto Division Ready For Hill Climb

Electric cars will be put forward during next week’s 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, running ‘till Jun3 e 30.

The race organizers said there is a huge buzz in the Electric Auto division, where one of the race’s legends, Japan’s Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, is entered again in his Pikes Peak Special E-Runner, which caught fire last year and forced the former course record holder and the first to crack the ten-minute mark, out of the race.

Tajima won the Unlimited division nine times on the Peak before going Electric last year.

He will be up against another of the event’s legends, Rod Millen, the father of Rhys Millen, and winner of the Unlimited title five times in the past, as well as a comeback in 2011, when he returned to Pikes Peak and triumphed in the Time Attack 2WD division.

Millen will be driving a new Toyota TMG EV POO2 model in the Electric field, which now numbers seven entries, including one of the year’s biggest surprises.

Mitsubishi has entered six-time Pikes Peak motorcycle champion Greg Tracy in the Electric Auto Division in one of its two MiEV Evolution II four-wheel drive prototype race cars. The decorated Tracy, who has never been behind the wheel of an auto on the Peak before, was second a year ago in the 1205cc motorcycle division behind champion Carlin Dunne, who set the all-time bike record of 9:52.819, while Tracy also shattered the elusive ten-minute mark with his clocking of 9:58.262.

The Electric field also includes two-time Champion Ikuo Hanawa of Japan, behind the wheel of a Summit HER-02.

An international field of 157 competitors, 70 automobiles and 87 motorcycles, will challenge the 12.42 mile, fully-paved course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the 14,110-foot summit of the Peak. Check the link below to see the full course map.

During the 90 previous editions of the world’s most famous hill climb, the list of champions, those who have made it to the top past the checkered flag at the finish line, include the greats of American motorsport – Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, Roger Mears, Al Unser, Al Unser, Jr., Louis Unser, Bobby Unser, Rick Mears and scores of others, including generations of racing families with names like Dallenbach, Unser, Donner, and Vahsholtz.

In recent years, as the popularity and profile of the race spread around the globe, fans have seen a whole new family of international winners emerge, like Nobuhiro Tajima, Rod and Rhys Millen, Ari Vatanen, and Per Eklund.

Michele Mouton of France became the first woman to win a championship when she captured the Open Rally division in 1984 and 1985 in her Audi Quattro.

In keeping with the race’s growing international reputation, entries have been received this year from drivers and racers from the United States, Japan, Latvia, France, Sweden, Canada, Brazil, Great Britain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Switzerland, Scotland, Poland, Korea and New Zealand.

The event that was launched by Spencer Penrose, the founder of the world famous Broadmoor Hotel, in 1916 to help publicize his home town of Colorado Springs and the new highway he had constructed to the summit of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain.