It’s Electric: Millen Tames Pikes Peak Climb

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Rhys Millen became the first driver to win the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb with an electric car. (Drive eO photo)
Rhys Millen became the first driver to win the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb with an electric car. (Drive eO photo)
Rhys Millen became the first driver to win the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb with an electric car. (Drive eO photo)

PIKES PEAK, Colo. – History was made Sunday at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb. Rhys Millen became the first driver to win the event with an electric racer, and he set a new record time (for battery-powered cars) of nine minutes, 7.222 seconds in the process.

Underlining the rise of electric machines, Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima drove his Rimac-engineered e-Runner up America’s Mountain in 9.32.401, to capture second place.

While the electrics were fastest, internal combustion hasn’t been vanquished completely. Sebastian Loeb’s seemingly 2013 time of 8:13.878 is still admittedly out of reach of the new technology.

Speaking of gas power, Paul Dallanbach put on a show on his way to the summit. Not only did he demolish the open-wheel record with a 9:36.496 time, he did so using the old school approach.

His battered looking, naturally aspirated, scoop-winged wonder eclipsed the fire-breathing BBI-built Porsche of Jeff Zwart in the Time Attack 1 class by over nine seconds. The fastest car in the Unlimited class, which has historically topped the time sheet, was Dominic Dobson in a Radical SR8 in eighth place with a time of 10:15.289.

Honda’s CBR 1000, ridden by Jeffrey Tigert, was the fastest bike at 10:02.735 – finishing just ahead of the unorthodox Ronin team. The Denver, Colo. upstart fielded a customer’s bike, and with Travis Newbold in the saddle, managed a respectable 10:18.514.