COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An American is the king of Pikes Peak once again.
California’s Rhys Millen established a Pikes Peak Int’l Hill Climb course record Sunday, racing his way to the summit in a blistering 9:46.164 in the Time Attack division aboard his 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe to demolish the previous record set by Nobuhiro Tajima in 2011.
Millen grabbed the record out of the grasp of 2010 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Romain Dumas, who only minutes earlier pushed his Pikes Peak Open entry to a 9:46.181 trip up the 12.42-mile mountain course aboard his 2012 Porsche GR3R.
“This is just unbelievable,” Millen said. “We just competed against the best in the world and beat them.”
A crash-filled day that also so rain and ice on portions of the course, led to the final 15 competitors of the day to race on a shortened version of the historic course, which was fully paved for the first time this year.
David Donner notched his first Pikes Peak victory, winning the Unlimited division in his 2012 Palatov D4PPS in 10:04.652. Tajima, who has owned the Unlimited division in recent years, switched to the Electric division this year and was forced out of the event early by a cockpit fire.
Fumio Nutahara ended up winning the Electric division in his Toyota Motorsport Gmbh, covering the course in 10:15.380.
Carlin Dunne put down the top time in the 1205 cc motorcycle class, completing his race to the summit in 9:58.262 to smash the previous motorcycle record he set last year, which was 11:11.329.
Other division winners included Marc LaNoue (vintage motorcycle), Jason Archuleta (250 cc motorcycle), Travis Newbold (450 cc motorcycle), Gary Trachy (750 cc motorcycle), John-Thomas Wood and Chris Rizzo (motorcycle sidecar), Steve Tutt (quad modified motorcycle), Doug Siddens (exhibition powersport motorcycle), Jesse Neal (vintage).
Snow, rain and slick pavement forced officials in the early evening to move the finish line from the summit of Pikes Peak (14,100 altitude) down to Glen Cove (11,440 altitude) before the completion of the Time Attack division. Super Stock and Open Wheel had also yet to run before the change.
Rick Knopp was a winner in the exhibition division.
It was the only the third time in the history of the event, which dates back to 1916, that the course had to be shortened. This year also marked the first time in the history of the event that the entire race was run on a paved course.