2011 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Report
Rhys Millen Racing - Huntington Beach, CA - June 28, 2011
One epic week in the books for Rhys Millen Racing.
All the efforts of RMR came down to Sunday's event. Three previous testing days promised competitive section times in the Pikes Peak Open Class, Time Attack Class and Unlimited. Thousands lined the entrance to the National Park all the way down to historic Manitou Springs just before sunrise.
Weather at the start was ideal, heating the pavement to optional temperatures. Near 16 mile, wind gusts reached 35 mph, but unnoticeable by drivers. Rain and even snow is always a possibility year round in the Rocky Mountains.
This years climb would be a historic one as the last section of gravel would be paved for next year opening new classes of vehicles and increasing overall times.
In the Pikes Peak Open Class, Lauchlin O'Sullivan had set a qualifying time of 05:10 in the Red Bull Hyundai Veloster. This was nearly 29 seconds faster then his nearest competitor. O'Sullivan was pushing it to the max setting a 16 Mile time 40 seconds faster then Randy Schranz's winning time. With just one mile to go, O'Sullivan's transmission wasn't able to hold the Veloster's pace. O'Sullivan put on a great show for fans, stepping is last minute and showing the soon to be released potential of the Veloster.
What can we say about Rod Millen other then AMAZING and TRULY INSPIRATIONAL behind the Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The Hyundai ran flawlessly all week long giving Millen the ability to practice run after run. Millen's biggest competitor was the factory modified Porsche 911 GT2 RS driven by Jeff Zwart. A personal Millen family friend. The Genesis was 2 seconds faster in the previous days Qualifying Time. Millen would go onto set a NEW WORLD RECORD of 11:04 three seconds faster then the GT2 and 29 seconds faster then previous held record. Rod Millen continues to redefine the meaning of age 60 and what it takes to be a world class competitor.
Rhys Millen behind the Red Bull Hyundai PM580 and Nobuhiro Tajima driving the Suzuki had set almost identical overall sector times during previous days practice in the Unlimited Class. With perfect weather it was all coming down to the drives and cars. Millen had a flawless run pushing the PM580 to its mechanical limits on pace to the record. At the hills W section, the PM580's carbon brakes loss stopping power forcing Millen to downshift into corning costing valuable seconds. Millen overall set a new personal best of 10:09 and is determined next year to bring the record back to RMR.
Special thanks to Phil Long Hyundai of Motor City for their support and to all Sponsors showing the capabilities on a international level.
Nobuhiro Tajima 09:51.278
Rhys Millen 10:09.242
Jean Phillippe Dayraut 10:17.707
Dave Carapetyan DNF
Paul Dallenbach DNF
Rod Millen 11:04.912 NEW WORLD RECORD
Jeff Zwart 11:07.869
Toshiki Yoshioka 11:33.734
Pikes Peak Open
Randy Schranz 01:59 3:33 3:02 3:19 11:55
Lauchlin O'Sullivan 01:54 3:09 2:51 DNF
Congratulations to Rod Millen for setting the World Record at the 2011 Pikes Peak Hill Climb in the Time Attack 2WD Class!