Name – Rhys Millen
Height – 6’ 0”
Weight – 195
Nickname – Mad Skills
With over 20 years racing experience Rhys Millen has carved out a solid career and reputation becoming one of the most sought after performance drivers in the gigantic US automotive scene.
Rhys Millen, born in New Zealand in 1972 is the son of famed rally and offroad racer Rod Millen. Rhys joined Rod in the US as a teenager and founded Rhys Millen Racing at the age of 21. RMR (Rhys Millen Racing) is an automotive tuning and parts shop these days concentrating on rally, drift and movie car preparation.
Rhys developed his legendary car control skills through various outlets including drifting a modified Toyota Supra to a new class world record up the Worlds toughest hillclimb, the famous Pikes Peak International Hill climb back in 1998. This was noted by several manufacturers and Mitsubishi USA developed a relationship which resulted in RMR preparing and running there factory team program in the US Pro Rally Championship. Rhys went on to set class records three years in a row at Pikes Peak with the potent Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.
In 2003 the new sport of drifting hit US soil. A sport breed in Japan some fifteen years ago, based on “Judged " car control with high speed ( 100+ mph ) precision slides nose to tail with your competitor. This was a natural transition for Rhys, taking home top honors in 2003 drift showoff.
2004 marked the first year a fully sanctioned drift series was to be run in the US. Rhys had the foresight to pitch a program to the World’s biggest automotive manufacturer, General Motors and quickly signed up to become the Worlds first factory paid drift driver choosing the Pontiac GTO (Holden Monaro) from the GM stable. During the GTO’s development season Rhys quickly established himself as a top player winning round four of the series. Not to be over looked was Rhys’s results at the 2004 Japan vs. USA drift event held at California Speedway. Marking the first time a non Japanese competitor had stood on the podium - with a third place finish.
In 2005 Rhys Millen continued development of the GTO experimenting with subtle speedway style aerodynamic aids assisting with the cars handling at high speed. The mix of experience, talent and creativity culminated in Rhys dominating his way to the 2005 Formula Drift championship crown.
This year 2006, Rhys continued to raise the level of competition in the Formula Drift championship with podiums at 5 out of 7 races. After a devastating axle failure at round 6 in New Jersey, he was forced to give up the lead in the championship finishing in 2nd Place. Rhys also began to prepare the next generation of Pontiac drift car, the Solstice GXP. The new car would be debuted in competition at the D1 Finale in December of 2006. With the new light weight, nimble chassis of the Solstice the combination of a solid platform and Rhys’ skills Behind the wheel the 2007 season proved to be another successful year with two podiums and a 4th place finish in the championship for team Pontiac Red Bull. In Addition to Formula Drift, Team RMR went back to routes setting a new world record with the solstice at Pikes Peak in the 2wd time attack division.
2008 for Rhys Millen started with a humbling experience, with 3 blown engines just days prior to round one of the Formula Drift Championship – Millen was forced to watch from the side lines as his team mate and rivals gained valuable championship points. The remainder of the year was not the complete opposite. Rhys and Team RMR would podium at 4 out of the 6 remaining events with two firsts and clinch 3rd in the Formula Drift Championship and take the crown for the Tires.com Triple Crown Championship. Not to be forgotten, Millen also set a new world Record in the Time Attack Division at the World Renown Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Final challenge for the 2008 season was the “Red Bull Drifting World Championship”, bringing together 32 of the top drivers from around the world to challenge for the title of “The Best in the World”.
Millen would qualify in 1st position on Saturday and carry this momentum throughout the event to the finals to stand tall on the top of the podium as number 1 in the world. Not a bad year for Millen, coming off a broken back in the off season and not making it to round 1 with engine issues.
2009 saw Millen Back at Pikes Peak but with a new chassis and power plant - Hyundai. Piloting the new Hyundai Genesis coupe to yet another Time Attack world record, Millen proved his abilities not only behind the wheel but also as a team owner. For the 2010 season Millen plans to expand on the strongest foundation to date with a auto manufacture to take Hyundai to new heights challenging Pikes Peak in the unlimited class behind the wheel of a 850hp Hyundai V6 turbocharged beast. RMR will continue to develop the Hyundai Genesis Coupe for the Formula Drift series and focus there efforts onto a new for of motorsport to hit US soil for 2011 - Rally cross.
Aside from the busy weekend schedule of events Rhys spends most of his 5 to 9 time again behind the wheel precision/stunt driving for countless automotive car commercials totaling some 150 plus days per year. Of late Rhys has made the transition into Hollywood being awarded the role of lead stunt driver of the General Lee in such film as “Dukes of Hazard” movie. His performance landed him the role of lead stunt driver and stunt team drift coordinator in the June 06/16 release of “Fast and Furious 3, Tokyo Drift” movie. In addition to these movies Rhys’ work behind the wheel can be viewed in the movies “Herbie Fully Loaded”, “Red Line the movie” displaying dynamic control in cars line the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche GT and most recently Fast and Furious four , “Indiana
Jones Four” and “Fast and Furious Five”.
2011 Brings many new challenges and if the last few years are any indicator to the passion and desire to win of Millen, I’m sure he is up to the task.