Event>> Pikes Peak Hill Climb Highlights

There was a lot of hype surrounding this week over this car: “Monster” Tajima’s Suzuki SX4. This is a car designed specifically to tackle the Pike’s Peak course and hopefully beating his previous Pike’s Peak record, and also smashing the 10 minute barrier. Sadly, things were not to be. Tajima clocked in a 10 minutes and 15 second time on Sunday. A time far away from beating 10 minutes and also a time that was just shy of 14 seconds slower than his 2007 time of 10 minutes and one second!

The driver of this car was able to break a record. Rhys Millen in his Formula D car, which was basically untouched for the hill climb event, broke his own personal record by 29 seconds and won the two-wheel drive class with a time of 12 minutes and 9 seconds. The runner up in this category was slower by almost a minute and a half! Congrats to Rhys Millen and his team from all of us at Speedhunters!

This past week, I was a guest with the AMS / NOS Energy Drink team, who were competiting in the open category with a 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Sadly, one of the pipings from the turbo burst at the start losing David Kern, and co-driver Allison Kern, around twenty-five pounds of boost. This resulted in a second place for their category with a time of 12 minute and 10 seconds. But, stay tuned for a full feature on this car in the next coming weeks!

David Carapetyan and Adam Kneipp took first in the open category with a time of 11 minutes and 52 seconds!

The Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb is an event that you just have to visit more than once. One visit, and you will never fully experience the shear size and scale of the mountain, the road, and the drivers that literally go balls out on the most challenging hill climb in the world.

Keep your eyes peel this week for more coverage from Pike’s Peak!

-Linhbergh Nguyen

Speedhunters Pikes Peak 2009 Coverage



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Pikes Peak has had its great eras. I'm hoping with the internet being the way it is now, Pikes Peak gets back to its late 80's early 90's glory.


can't wait to catch some videos


LITERALLY balls out? sounds uncomfortable.


no lens flare? Are u sure these photos were taken by Mr. 1.2?



I also instantly caught that "literally balls out" thing.


funny how rhys' drift car was only 17 seconds slower than that yellow awd evo


If you want to get technical, the Suzuki SX4 Special is actually an "SUV". ;)


its called driver skill


What's da black car rhys's driving? it looks wickedly sickenly AWESOME!~ XD


It's actually dark blue and it's a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Congrats Rhys!

Also better luck next time AMS.


Escudo Pikes Peak > SX4. I still remember trying to handle the 1,000+ hp Escudo in Gran Turismo 2....while also setting *all* of my personal high speed records in the same car. Did you forget the "wheelie glitch" which let you get up over 800 mph? lol


To ryoga81....how is the Escudo better? With it, Tajima couldn't come near the time of the Celica. It rook ten years of development on that chassis to get it to todays spec. On of the main problems Tajima has had in the last two years is the weather didn't allow him to get to the top in under 10.


I was there! it was awesome, Dave Carapetyan and Dave Kern are awesome dudes. Def. worth going again, even if you do have to climb up the mountain for good shots :P


It was a pleasure meeting you Linhbergh and good times hanging @ Pikes Peak! THX for the love and we're looking forward to the feature!!!


Linhbergh, nice meeting you on Sunday. Hope you'll visit CO sometime again soon. Great shots of the cars and Pikes Peak!


We love your site: - Your readers may enjoy hearing the quick interview we did with Rhys Millen as his car was heading into tech inspection at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb


Thanks and we look forward to more great Motorsport Coverage from SpeedHunters


I drove the yellow evo and we had almost identical problems off the start line.. down to 15psi boost and ignition cutting out every 10-15 seconds, Rhys and all the other boys should have smashed us!


Congrats for making it to Pike's Peak Linhbergh! Did you go all the way to the top? Kinda hard to breathe up there...


Kudos to Rhys Millen and the Genesis "Drift" Car!


Is that snow in the picture of the NOS sponsored Lancer evo?


I can't believe its a Genisis!


I don't think it was snow in that picture, but it did start snowing on us right around the summit.

For those wondering about times, both Dave Carapetyan and I were on pace to make runs in the 11:30 range (based on practice day times), but weather and mechanical glitches got the best of us this year.

When comparing times across classes, keep in mind that PPIHC creates its own weather patterns, and not everyone had to race in the rain. As fast qualifier in PPO, I made the decision to run last in my class. Had we taken the start line first in class (right after Rhys), we would've had a dry run up the hill. Live & learn...guess we need to add a weatherman to our pit crew next year. LOL

Dave Kern

NOS Energy Drink / AMS Performance