The end of this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb brought elation for one man and despair for another. Sadly, the latter was a Porsche driver: topped by a Hyundai up the legendary Colorado course.
2012 was the first year that the timed ascent was run on an all-paved track. Our friends at Falken Tyres were there supporting defending champion and record-holder Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima. The Porsche pictures below are courtesy of Falken gearhead, Nick B.
The overall winner was world class drifter, Rhys Millen, who murdered the mountain in 9 minutes 46.16 seconds, just a few runs after Porsche driver, Romain Dumas, had set a record time of 9:46.18. You read that right: Dumas’ 911 GT3 R lost out by just two one-hundredths of a second.
Driving a tweaked Hyundai Genesis race car, Rhys recaptured the record time for Millen family honours: father Rod held fastest time from 1994 to 1997. While the Millens rejoiced, Dumas was disgusted. Because the event runs by class rather than the fastest running in succession, Romain reckoned his drive was on a damper surface than the winner.
“We spend a lot of money to come for one weekend. I know it’s bad to speak like this of a race since I am a newcomer, but this is not fair,” said Romain at the finish. As a Porsche guy, I can see his point and agree that the fastest should run together, to ensure a level playing field. But everyone knows the rules when they sign up for these things so, on the other hand: that’s racing.
Romain has apparently vowed not to return, but I would love to be there one day. My only issue with Pikes Peak is the lack of apostrophe. Otherwise, all good.