Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima breaks the elusive 10 minute barrier and achieves a sixth successive win at Pikes Peak !
Detailed Report




  The driver responsible for accomplishing this great achievement is the undisputed 'King of the Mountain'; Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima. Coincidentally, this stellar performance earned him his sixth consectutive overall win at 'Americas Mountain'- Pikes Peak !

The word from the organisers of the event is that the race course is destined to be completely tarmac paved for the 2012 event making this year's hillclimb the last year that the notoriously difficult 'mixed' surface of tarmac and gravel will be driven on. This stunning record will be long remembered as the legendary record of the classic Pikes Peak course.

For Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima, 23 years have passed since he took his first Pikes Peak Hill Climb challenge and over the last 23 years, there have been many ups and downs. The extreme nature and changing weather at Pikes Peak has been one of the drivers' toughest challenges but on the 26th of June 2011, apart from strong winds, the weather finally played its part and provided all drivers with the perfect conditions to break records.

On the first day of Practice on the middle (all tarmac) section, the Monster Sport SX4 Hillclimb special suffered drive shaft trouble. The first run is most important to ensure that all systems are working correctly but this unavoidable problem resulted in no further practice runs for the day. Day 2 of Practice on the top (all tarmac) section began a little better with no further driveshaft problems evident however the team was hampered with clutch problems, again cutting short practice for the second last day. Indeed the increased loads on the drivetrain that an 'all tarmac' surface gave to the SX4 hillclimb special were resulting in a few issues for the GoPro Monster Sport with BC team to deal with.
The new tire and suspension modifications for 2011 were however working very well and the driver and team were very impressed with improvements made in these areas. KING SPRINGS from Australia provided the team with a newly designed and innovative spring set up for this year giving excellent traction and much greater control and balance more suited to the predominantly tarmac surface.
The new FALKEN ZIEX S/TZ01 tires, combined with a new design light forged wheel from new team sponsor HRE were well matched for ultimate performance.

Day 3 of practice (lower section 60%gravel - 40% tarmac) was perhaps the most important for the team, this was the qualifying section and the result of this would decide which driver had control over the race day running order and any potential tactical advantage to be had. Despite the two previous days of problems, the final day showed the true performance of the Monster Sport SX4 Hillclimb Special with 'Monster' Tajima driving faultlessly without any issues and setting a qualifying time over 15 seconds faster than his nearest rival.
Race day began with perfect weather, the sky was clear…no chance of rain or snow and Pikes Peak showed its true beauty. It was apparent that the weather was not to play any part in spoiling this perfect day. 'Monster' Tajima, as the fastest qualifier exercised his right to change the running order of the unlimited cars selecting directly following the 'time attack' 4wd category as being the most optimal for a record breaking run and electing to run as the first of the unlimited cars so as to have the best possible chance of having a clear run up the mountain without any concerns of being stopped mid-way.

As in Qualifying, the Monster Sport SX4 Pikes Peak Special climbed the lower section of the course with stunning time, as he continued and his time following the middle section was announced, the audience expectations were raised. The only worrying factor for him were the strong winds being experienced at the top, in the past, these strong winds have been an issue.

The final run to the top was looking to be perfect however Tajima was yet to face his biggest difficulty. 1km from the end, the main drive belt on his engine came loose resulting in a loss of power steering and engine cooling.

Struggling to retain control of the SX4 through 2 hairpin curves, 2 high speed corners and 1 medium speed corner he blasted through the finish line in a cloud of steam with an overheated engine and sore arms - surprising many of the media who were at the top anticipating his arrival !
This year, the race was broadcast all over the world through the internet. In the USA, Europe and Japan, many fans were eagerly awaiting Monster's result….. the time was announced - "9:51.278!!!" Finally, the "10 minute barrier" was broken. It was the moment that 'Monster' Tajima and Team GoPro Monster Sport with BC's dreams came true.

Monster Tajima : "This year I entered 2011 Pikes Peak Hill Climb with three goals in mind, the first was to win the event for the sixth consecutive time, the second was to break the 10 minute barrier and to set a new course record and the third goal that I really wanted to accomplish was to 'cheer up' Japan. In light of the devastating earthquake off the coast of Japan earlier this year, the Tsunami that followed and the ongoing Nuclear issues that still continue today, I hoped that by supporting the Japanese people and by recognizing this massive disaster that occurred by creating and fixing a special 'Pray for Japan' logo to my helmet, race suit and race car that I could achieve a result that the Japanese people could draw strength from. The support and reception that this received from the American people was overwhelming. In return for donations to the Japan relief we gave away Team T-Shirts and once the other competitors saw the logos on my car, they also wanted to show their support by placing 'Pray for Japan' logo's on their cars too ! This year I was able to achieve every goal I set out to achieve and both Japan and myself are very grateful for the support that we were shown, many thanks ! It

Result (Unlimited Division)

Veh #
Finish Time
Nobuhiro Tajima
Rhys Millen
Jean Phillippe Dayraut
Dave Carapetyan
Paul Dallenbach

Official web site of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb



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