Pikes Peak International Raceway (pikespeak)

Pikes Peak International Raceway (pikespeak)

One of the most exciting races in the auto calendar is the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. You see some of the most unique race cars and you get treated to the kind of timed laps no other auto event in the calendar will give you.

This year, we’ve already seen some of the race cars that will be competing in the event, and now Toyota is jumping into the fold with their Pikes Peak offering, the Toyota Motorsports EV P002 prototype race car.

The EV P002 is based on the Radical sports car chassis and has been fitted with a 42-kWh lithium ceramic battery pack that’s charged by an off-board DC system, netting an output of 470 horsepower and 664 lb/ft of torque with a top speed of 149 mph. Pretty intense for an electric race car, right?

The competition at Pikes Peak is pretty intense, that much we know. But these boys clearly are no pushovers, having already made a name for themselves by with the EV P002’s predecessor, the EV P001 , which incidentally set the fastest EV lap at the Nurburgring last year.

If the EV P001 was capable of that, it’s pretty exciting to think what it’s successor can do at Pikes Peak.

With the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb drawing closer and closer, we’re now getting a pretty good look at some of the cars that will be competing in the annual event in Colorado.

One car, in particular, that caught our attention is this 1995 BMW M3 Coupe . On any other day, cars like this probably go unnoticed, but this one is pretty cool because it’s set to compete at Pikes Peak.

Tuned to race by EV West, this M3 Coupe has been stripped down of pretty much everything that it won’t need on a racing set-up. What it does have now are a number of racing components, including a bucket racing seat, a full-body roll cage, a huge rear wing fitted on the trunk, plenty of carbon fiber panels, and a new set of 17" lightweight wheels.

To ensure that the their M3 Coupe can compete with some of the quirkiest and more powerful Pikes Peak-bound cars competing in the annual hill climb, EV West took out the car’s standard 3.0-liter inline-six engine and replaced it with a twin-air cooled electric motor that produces a staggering 400 horsepower and an even more staggering 700 lb/ft of torque.

A little over a month ago, a design sketch of Monster Tajima’s new Pikes Peak race car was revealed to the public, and to our surprise, it wasn’t a new iteration of his Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special.

The new car, which we now know as the Monster Sport E-Runner Pikes Peak Special, looks like an actual LMP1 prototype with plenty of GoPro cameras installed on it. The blue LED stripe headlights even add a mix of Batmobile and K.I.T.T from Knight Rider to it.

Having said all of that, the Monster Sport E-Runner Pikes Peak Special means serious business as Tajima is looking to set not only the electric car record, but also best his own record time in the Unlimited class. Tajima, a six-time defending champ in Pikes Peak, will most certainly be one of the top contenders this year, even if he’s going to pilot a new toy that a lot of people know little about.

From what we do know about the car, it looks like it’s been given the full-on carbon fiber treatment, complete with a pod-like driver capsule that’s encased by a full-on roll cage. Those aforementioned LED lights are also an attractive sight as are the matching set of blue rims. Meanwhile, the plethora of vents and scoops on the car’s body clearly suggests that the racer is ready to throw down at Pikes Peak next month.

Different car, same results, right?

With Monster Tajima behind the wheel, we’re not about to doubt that.

25 years ago, Walter Rohl won the 1987 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb while driving the Audi Sport quattro S1 . Fast forward to this year and the 2012 installment of the annual race in Colorado will ring nostalgic as Rohl is set to make his return race to Pikes Peak.

The car Rohl will be piloting? No other than the same 591-horsepower Audi Sport quattro S1 he raced to victory a quarter of a century ago.

In this video, Audi takes us on behind-the-scenes look at preparations being done on the Sport quattro S1 leading up to its Pikes Peak return. Fascinating is an understatement in trying to describe the video, especially when you take into account all the things that need to be done to ensure that a 25-year old race car can tackle Pikes Peak the same way it did during its lean years.

So if you have the time, spare the three minutes and change and watch the video.

Source: Audi

Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima is, without question, the king of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb . Not only is he the record-holder for the fastest ascent to the top of the mountain, but he’s the only man to do it in less than 10 minutes.

For this year, Monster Tajima will be keeping his record-setting Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special in the garage in favor of an electric car that his team, Team APEV Monster Sports, is in the process of putting together. And here’s the best part: Tajima isn’t looking to break the EV record for the climb; he actually has his eyes set on the overall record. Yep. The same record he set last year.

From what we’ve seen out of this man, if there’s anybody that can do it, it’s Monster Tajima.

As far as details behind the car is concerned, Team APEV Monster Sports is still keeping information tight-lipped, although we do expect them to reveal the car pretty soon.

Electric vehicles running up Pikes Peak isn’t entirely a novelty anymore, especially after we saw a Nissan Leaf and a custom EV from AC Propulsion do it just last year.

This year, Japanese automaker is jumping on the bandwagon by building a custom i-MiEV Prototype that they hope to unleash on Pikes Peak. Called the i-MiEV Evolution, the Pikes Peak-bound race car doesn’t look anything like the i-MiEV. For one, this prototype actually looks like a certified racer, as opposed to the flat-iron-looking i-MiEV.

Despite its completely different look, the i-MiEV Evolution features the same electric motor, drive battery, and a lot of other major components of the production i-MiEV. The i-MiEV Evolution will be using three electric motors - one for the front two wheels, and two for each rear wheel - producing a total output of 322 horsepower. Combine that number to the car’s lightweight structure and you have a race car that’s fixing to make some serious noise at Pikes Peak.

Sitting behind the wheel of the i-MiEV Evolution Pikes Peak Race Car will be two-time Dakar Rally Champion, Hiroshi Masuoka.

It’s pretty interesting to see how Mitsubishi will continue to evolve their i-MiEV Pikes Peak Race Car leading up to this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. We’re not expecting the car to set any records, but it will be cool to see how it fares relative to the times set by the Nissan Leaf last year.

The fallout from this year’s electrifying Pikes Peak International Hill Climb continues to flood the web weeks after the dust settled on the mighty Colorado mountain.

We’ve already seen video of Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima’s record-breaking run in the Race to the Clouds, but what was lost in all the adulation surrounding the event’s first sub 10-minute time was another record-shattering run by Jeff Zwart. As the record-holder of the 2WD Time Attack class, Zwart took his stock Porsche 911 GT2 RS up the steep slopes of Pikes Peak to post a time of 11:07:869, smashing the record for a stock production car at Pikes Peak by more than 24 seconds.

Unfortunately, even this scintillating run wasn’t enough for Zwart to win the 2WD Time Attack class as that honor went to Pikes Peak legend Rod Millen, who eclipsed Zwart’s time by just three seconds. Having said that, Millen’s time came at the expense of a race-spec machine that produced well over 700 horsepower.

We normally don’t celebrate runner-up finishes, but we’re going to make an exception this time around. The fact that Zwart was able to accomplish what he did with a stock production 911 GT2 RS speaks volumes of what this man is capable.

Check out the video of Zwart’s run to the top of Pikes Peak in the video above!

Source: Porsche

Something about this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb suggested that something special was about to happen.

And in spectacular fashion, Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima delivered yet again, shattering his previous mark in the Unlimited Class by over 10 seconds and setting a new record for the fastest climb up Pikes Peak.

The Japanese legend raced up the mountain in a blistering time of 9:51.278, easily eclipsing his previous record time of 10:01.408 , which he set back in 2007. Taking his Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special up Pikes Peak, Tajima was virtually flawless in his ascent becoming the very first man to hit a sub 10-minute time in one of the most legendary races in the world.

What makes the record even more special was that Tajima had to battle through an overheating engine to achieve his record-breaking time.

A hearty whoop goes out to "Monster" Tajima for raising the bar yet again at Pikes Peak. Goes without saying that when talking about this event in the future, his name will go down in the record books as one of the best ever.

Check out the video of Tajima’s record-breaking ascent!

Source: YouTube
Posted on by Alexander + 6

The 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is just around the corner and we couldn’t think of a better to prepare for the race than to read up on the racers ready to take on the challenge and take a close look at the Pikes Peak course.

The annual ’Race to the Clouds’ challenges automobiles and motorcycles alike to navigate their way up Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This course is about 12.42 miles long with 156 turns for drivers to brave during their ascent on grades averaging 7%. The race begins at 9,390 feet and ends at the mountain’s 14,110-foot summit above Colorado Springs for a total climb of 4,720 ft.

This year, 194 racers from ten different countries will test their driving skills on the dirt and paved roads of Pikes Peak with the hopes of getting top billing in their respective classes. The most anticipated race will be that of the Unlimited Class where there are no restrictions and some of the fastest machines on the planet are put to the test to see which one can go up the mountain faster. Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima , Rhys Millen, and Paul Dallenbach are just a few of the racers in this class that are prepared to go balls to the wall to break the 10-minute barrier and the standing record of 10:01.408 achieved by Tajima back in 2007.

Will they succeed? Only time will tell, but prepare yourself for the race by taking a look at the course in detail. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire a trip to Colorado to watch the action live.

Check back with us soon for the next installment of our Car Infographics series!

Source: Behance

The 89th installment of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb opens this weekend, which means that now seems like an appropriate time to provide a preview of what is arguably the world’s most famous hill climbing competition.

Represented by drivers and racers from ten different countries - France, Italy, Japan, Spain, New Zealand, Sweden, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and the USA - the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will feature 194 different racers, all of which are looking to win their respective classes and break some records in the process.

The festivities start on June 24th in downtown Colorado with the Fan Fest, a free event that is expected to gather about 35,000 fans from 5:00-10:00 pm. As part of the festivities, fans will get the chance to see all the participants with their racers, as well as enjoy live music, motorcycle jumps, the Denver Broncos cheerleaders, and, of course, a chili cook-off.

Even Hollywood star and car aficionado, Paul Walker, will be on-hand for the event as he was tapped to be the driver of the Porsche 911 Pace Car. Riding shotgun beside Walker for the ceremonial lap will be Colorado Springs, Mayor Steve Bach.

Check out our preview of the 2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb after the jump.

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