Rhys Millen Sets New Pikes Peak Record In Genesis Coupe, Evo Takes A Tumble Photo:
Peter Anderson | Aug, 15 2012 | 0 Comments

Kiwi Rhys Millen set the fastest time during Sunday's Pike's Peak International Hill Climb, at the same time bettering the previous record by five seconds.

Rhys clocked the 9m46.164s time over the 4300 metre ascent at the wheel of a heavily-modified Hyundai Genesis V6 Coupe.

The car was last year's Time Attack 2WD record-setter, driven by Rhys' father Rod, himself a multiple class and overall winner at the Peak.

"With the insights gained from the last few years in our Genesis Coupe, the team was able to make some high-impact improvements, leveraging additional downforce and traction opportunities provided by the new all-tarmac surface,' Rhys Millen said.

"Breaking the 10-minute barrier is something I've always wanted to do, and it feels great to accomplish this goal in 2012."

The Genesis Coupe underwent heavy modification after its 2011 class victory, which saw Rod Millen cover the almost 20km course last year in 11m04.912s.

In August 2011, the formerly mixed-surface course was sealed all the way to the top, making 2012 the first year of an all-tarmac competition.

New aero components, a new tyre combination, new wheels, a new turbocharger (pushing output to 522kW) and a new brake and chassis package were fitted to cope with the new surface and pilot.

The Race to the Clouds brought plenty of drama this year. The Mitsubishi all-electric prototype left the road in practice and had to be dragged out of a ditch.

Last year's overall winner, Nobuhiro Tajima was forced to retire after stopping his electric Monster Sport E-RUNNER on the track after he noticed smoke pouring out of it.

The hotly-contested electric category was won by Toyota, with their EV P002.

The fastest time on two wheels was set by Carlin Dunne on his Ducati Multistrada 1200 S in the 1200cc class. Ducati took the four fastest times in that class.

Of course, no Peak weekend is complete without a lucky escape. Mitsubishi Evo 8 driver Jeremy Foley left the road at a notorious corner after understeering onto gravel.

The car rolled down the hill, shedding parts and bodywork as it went. Both Foley and co-driver Yuri extracted themselves from the car but were airlifted to hospital as a precaution.

This year's event was the 90th running, the first occurring way back in 1916, making it the second oldest motorsport event in the US. The 2012 event attracted 200 competitors across sixteen classes.

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