By Sanjiv Sathiah
Sunday, Oct 30th, 2011 @ 5:51 am
 
The Japanese motorsports legend known as 'Monster,' Nobuhiro Tajima, has smashed his own record on the famous Pikes Peak International climb. Driving a specially prepared Suzuki race car known as the Suzuki SX4 Hill Climb Special, Tajima has become the first driver to go sub-ten seconds at the Peak.

The evergreen Tajima, 60, powered his 850-horsepower beast up the Peak in 9:51.28, taking a shade over 10 secs off his previous best. He also managed the spectacular time with his radiator beginning to boil over towards the latter half of the climb resulting in water spewing out of the car.

The Monster has 'owned' the Colorado mountain, winning his class for the last six consecutive years. Following him in second place was Rhys Millen, the Formula Drift champion, in his Hyundai Genesis PM580. He was, however, hampered by brake problems and finished second with a time of 10:09:24.

The 12.42-mile course has changed dramatically over the years. Once all gravel, it has morphed into a course that is now nearly all pavement with only three miles of unpaved surfaces now remaining. And even that is endangered with The City of Colorado Springs intending to complete its road work before the start of the 2012 race.

Due to the changes, many race aficionados believe that the pre-2007 record set by Rod Millen in 1994 (Rhys' father), when it was almost entirely gravel, to be the pinnacle of achievement. Millen's time was a still impressive 10:04:06.

References
1.'Suzuki sets Pikes...' view