It’s been a little while since we wrapped our 2016 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb coverage, but I feel it’s worth revisiting for this short film from Hankook Tires. It chronicles Rhys Millen‘s Breaking 9 attempt, something we followed closely throughout this year’s event.
The subject of EVs in motorsport is a contentious one, but one that still requires a lot of discussion. It’s interesting to hear Rhys and his father, legendary race driver Rod Millen, refer to the ’80s as the ‘golden days’ of Pikes Peak; you get the impression that there are few who are quite so passionate about the Colorado mountain as the Millens are.
As the conversation turns to the modern and all-paved Pikes Peak, I find myself hearing a different rhetoric – not better and certainly not worse, but a different view of what is one of the most famous motorsport events on earth. The talk turns from reminiscing about the glory days (and let’s be honest, they were), to a focus on conquering the mountain in the fastest possible time.
Previously, I think I’ve made the mistake of considering Pikes Peak as ‘man and machine versus the mountain’, when it’s really just ‘man versus mountain’. To be the fastest to the top, you need to take advantage of everything. Nostalgia and emotion have no place at the cutting edge of motorsport. It’s a relentless pursuit to be faster than the person next to you. Nothing more, nothing less.
If this means leaving behind the internal combustion engine in order to go faster, where do you stand?