NOBUHIRO ‘MONSTER’ TAJIMA finally broke the 10-minute barrier at Pikes Peak, beating his own record with a 9min 51.27sec run. The expected challenges from Rhys Millen and Paul Dallenbach did not materialise, with brake problems hampering Millen’s progress in his unique Hyundai while Dallenbach’s turbocharged 1300bhp Pikes Peak special failing soon after the start. Other records to fall included the Electric and Vintage divisions, as well as the outright record for motorcycles.
The reason for the sudden increase in speed was the reduction of the course’s gravel sections from 6.5 to 2.5 miles. With the change came some anticipated crowd issues – the spectator turnout was greater than expected and a lack of dust and flying gravel from competitors meant people were prepared to stand closer to the track, causing particular problems for the motorcycle divisions.
Other notable runs came from Rod Millen, whose 1994 record stood until 2007, and Brianne Corn. Millen Sr returned from a 12-year absence to take his son’s Hyundai Genesis to victory in the Time Attack 2wd division, while rookie Corn (Subaru) became the first woman to achieve a class win (in Time Attack 4wd) since Michèle Mouton in 1984.