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Millen Sets New Pikes Peak Record

 

Millen Sets New Pikes Peak Record

In one of the most thrilling finishes in recent memory, Rhys Millen set a new course record time of 9:46.16 at the 90th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb just a few drivers after Romain Dumas had also cracked the world mark in a time of 9:46.18.

Millen had been chasing the record ever since his father, Rod Millen, set and held it from 1994-1997 and was finally able to do it in a 2012 Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a far-cry from some of the million-dollar vehicles he had attacked the course with in the past.

“This is just unbelievable,” Millen told The Colorado Springs Gazette, “We just competed against the best in the world and beat them.”

In contrast to the elation Millen was feeling, Dumas had other thoughts on the race.

“We spend all this money to come for one weekend and it’s not fair,” Dumas told The Colorado Springs Gazette. “I know it’s bad to speak like that of a race since I am a newcomer, but it is not fair.”

The hill-climbing rookie Frenchmen was furious over the format of the race with it being organized according to vehicle class rather than times that were set during practice sessions. As a result of this format, Dumas was forced to race during rainy conditions as his Pikes Peak Open class was scheduled ahead of Millen’s Time Attack class when the weather had let up allowing for dryer racing.

So upset was Dumas over what occurred that he vowed to never return to Pikes Peak. He raced in a 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 R.

Finishing third in the event was Carlin Dunne who demolished his motorcycle record that he set on the course last year with a time of 9:52.819. His time in 2011 was 11:11.329.

Following Dunne was another biker in Greg Tracy who also cracked the 10-minute barrier with a time of 9:58.262. Similarly to Dumas and Millen, Tracy had recorded his time before Dunne came roaring out to beat it. However, there was no controversy involved between the two as they were both competing in the 1205 cc class and were racing at similar times during the event.

Both men were riding Ducati Multistradas. Dunne was on top of a 2012 model while Tracy took the reigns of a 2010.

Not all news at Pikes Peak was celebratory though as the race was marred with a multitude of red flags and even an extremely frightening crash that saw Jeremy Foley and his Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 8 go tumbling down the hillside. He along with his co-driver were taken to hospital and were said to only have minor injuries.

Last year’s winner, Nobuhiro Tajima, was unable to finish the race because of an engine fire that occurred less than a mile into his run.

“I saw smoke coming out from the motor and I had no choice but to stop the car so it wouldn’t get any worse,” Tajima told Green Car Reports. “I am very disappointed because my team and I have put a tremendous effort to get where we are today.”

Nicknamed “Monster,” Tajima vowed that he and his souped up electric car would return next year. In 2011, the Japanese native set the Pikes Peak record of 9:51.278 that was beaten by Millen and Dumas this year.

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