It’s been two years since Sebastien Loeb smashed the Pikes Peak record with an amazing run of 8:13.878 minutes, and it seems no other manufacturer/driver is able to get close to that time, let alone beat it. However, this year’s "Race to the Clouds" had plenty of drama, mostly in the electric car department. Specifically, veteran Rhys Millen set a new record time for battery-powered vehicles, taking his Latvian-built Drive eO PP03 up the mountain in 9:07.222 minutes. What’s more, Millen became the first to win the race with an electric racer.

The New Zealander beat last year’s 9:08-minute record for EVs, which was set by Grec Tracy in the 2014 Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III. Although Mitsu didn’t return for this year’s event, Millen had some competition in "Monster" Tajima’s Rimac e-Runner Concept_One prototype. Nobuhiro finished the race in second, but no fewer than 25 seconds behind the winner.

The podium was completed by a gasoline-powered car, Paul Dallenbach’s PVA, which won the Open Wheel category with a 9:36.496-minute run. Jeff Zwart’s Porsche 911 came in in fourth (9:46.243), while Clint Vahsholtz’s Ford finished fifth (9:55.479).

Keep it locked here for a detailed race recap of the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Even though Millen’s run is nearly a full minute off the all-time record, it’s a fantastic benchmark for electric cars. Not only EVs are getting closer and closer to posting 8-minute runs up the mountain, but they finally succeeded in being quicker than gasoline-powered vehicles. Loeb’s record will most likely remain untouched for a few more years, but as technology advances and batteries become lighter (this is a big issue as far as weight goes), electric cars are bound to set new records at Pikes Peak, maybe even break the seven-minute barrier.

Source: tflcar

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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