July 26, 2007 The 10 minute barrier was almost broken at the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the United States on July 21 with Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima breaking the previous record of 10 minutes and 4 seconds which has stood for 12 seasons. We have written before about the Pikes Peak Hill Climb here and also written about Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima here. The theme of this years 85th running to the top of Pikes Peak was ‘Beat the Record’ which is exactly what Tajima did with a run of 10:01.04 seconds which eclipsed the previous best time by more than three seconds. Monster’s Suzuki XL7 features a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 that produces a stunning 750 kW (1007 horsepower) at 8500 rpm and 1000 Nm of torque at 6250 rpm.
The magical 10 minute mark is clearly within his reach. Each time he has raced at the event he has improved his time.
The Pikes Peak hill climb is the second oldest auto race in the United States behind the Indianapolis 500.
The 20 kilometre track boasts 156 turns and an average uphill grade of seven per cent, with a maximum of 10.5 per cent.
The high elevation places unique strain and stress on driver and machine alike, starting 2900 metres above sea level and continues uphill the length of the track to the finish line, located 4300 metres above sea level or more than double the height of Mt Kosciuszko.
Drivers resort to oxygen bottles to maintain adequate levels of breathing, while the high altitudes strip around 30 per cent of the engine’s horsepower during the final few kilometers.