Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima’s E-RUNNER Wins in Electric Class at 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; Places 5th Overall (w/videos)

4 years ago by Mark Kane 5

E-RUNNER

E-RUNNER

E-RUNNER

E-RUNNER

Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima set a new record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado Springs for electric vehicles and also achieved fifth place in the overall standings.

E-RUNNER

E-RUNNER

Tajima, driving the Monster Sport E-RUNNER Pikes Peak Special, clocked a 9:46.530 time, which is the first ever under 10 minutes for an EV. Victory by Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima was expected last year, but technical problems eliminated E-RUNNER. So, this year is E-RUNNER’s revenge.

This year’s record is about 29 seconds better than last year, which represents a major advancement for electric vehicles. This result is also fifth best in the overall standing of over 140 drivers, while last year, the fastest electric vehicle was sixth overall. What’s more interesting is that, if Tajima was only half a second quicker, he’d of placed fourth place and if four seconds quicker, he would of landed on the lowest level of the podium.

Unfortunately, tremendous progress was made also by several ICE teams. The overall winner of the race, Sebastien Loeb, set an amazing time of 8:13.878, but the vehicle seems to be slightly wider than the electrics competing and is certainly more powerful.

To reduce the gap to the leaders EVs will need to be redesigned again and get more power – maybe 600 or 800 kW or possibly even 1 MW and, of course, more energy in the batteries.

Looking on the results (full list), you must remember that changing weather conditions and rain distorted competition and that some teams didn’t have the chance to drive as fast as others.

EV results in PPIHC 2013

No. Driver Vehicle Time
1 Nobuhiro Tajima E-RUNNER 09:46.530
2 Carlin Dunne Lightning Motorcycles 10:00.694
3 Hiroshi Masuoka Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II 10:21.866
4 Greg Tracy Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II 10:23.649
5 Rod Millen TMG EV P002 10:24.301
6 Jeff Clark Zero FX 12:00.978
7 Jeremiah Johnson Zero Motorcycles 12:05.612
8 Troy Siahaan Zero FX 12:24.083
9 Ted Richard Amarok P1A 12:53.612
10 Nathan Barker Zero Motorcycles 13:14.262
11 Brandon Miller Zero Motorcycles 13:16.476
12 Roy Richards Honda Fit EV 17:30.614
DNF Ikuo Hanawa Yokohama HER-02
DNF Janis Horeliks eO PP01
 
Second place among electrics was Carlin Dunne on a Lightning Motorcycles bike at 10:00.694, a very solid result – the best in class Exhibition Powersports and tops among all motorcycles!  Unfortunately, the result is about 15 seconds slower than last year’s record for Dunne (on an ICE bike) and therefore there’s still room for improvement in this area.

Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II

Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II

Qualification winner Mitsubishi Motors failed to meet expectations, although it may have been caused by changing weather conditions and rain falling from time to time.

Hiroshi Masuoka and Greg Tracy, both in Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution II , took 13th and 14th respectively in the overall standings with times of 10:23.649 and 10:21.866.

Certainly, one would expect more, especially as the qualifying results were better than the year before and the team was counting on victory in its class. However, the results are weaker than last year’s.

Rod Millen, in the improved TMG EV P002, also was not been able to improve on the 10:15.380 time set by Fumio Nutahara in 2012.  Millen obtained a result of 10:24.301 landing him in 16th place in overall classification.

TMG EV P002

TMG EV P002

Toyota confirmed that the competition had been hit by the rain, which slowed the TMG EV P002.

“The TMG EV P002 electric race car’s chances to repeat its record and class win at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb were frustrated by the weather.”

“After two close practice sessions the electric class looked incredibly tight, but rain just after the first electric competitor completed his run prevented the following drivers from challenging.”

“Rod Millen in the TMG EV P002 was among the group affected by the wet weather and he completed his run in 10minutes 24.301seconds to finish fourth in the electric class. Second to fourth places were covered by less than three seconds.”

“Practice runs had shown the TMG EV P002 likely to break the electric record of 10mins 15.380secs it set last year. However, a slippery track made it impossible to improve on that mark.”

“The car finished 16th overall after another trouble-free run for TMG’s electric powertrain.”

A few of the next spots are occupied by motorcyclists from Exhibition Powersports-Z class – mostly on Zero Motorcycles. Interestingly, Ted Richard, on a Amarok P1A, had atime: 12:53.612 – slower than some Zero’s.

Roy Richards took a Honda Fit EV on the peak and set a time of 17:30.614. What is interesting is that this result is weaker than that obtained in 2012 by Beccy Gordon in a modified Mitsubishi i-MiEV (15:10.557) and in 2011 by Chad Horde’s Nissan LEAF at 14:33.429 (despite the lack of asphalt pavement along the route in 2011 and with a slightly less powerful motor).

Unfortunately, Janis Horeliks, driving the Latvian eO PP01, and Japanese Ikuo Hanawa in the Yokohama HER-02, did not finish the race. Horeliks crashed – no injuries reported. This is obviously a shame, because the PP01 eO had posted a first section time that was slower than only the E-RUNNER.

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5 responses to "Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima’s E-RUNNER Wins in Electric Class at 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb; Places 5th Overall (w/videos)"

  1. Anderlan says:

    All that loud noise from the ICEs shoving air into their gullets and wheezing up the hill. Makes the sirens on the EVs sound gentile in comparison.

  2. Anderlan says:

    EVs go by at 2:16.

  3. Josh says:

    I am disappointed that nobody entered a Model S Performance+ into the race. It would have been interesting to see what time a professional driver could have posted with the fastest stock EV.

  4. Gary H says:

    Unfortunate timing of the helicopter flying overhead in the first video, masking out the electric “sound” that would have been a better comparison of the ICE cars.
    Did you notice the siren sound for all of the EVs in the video (including the motorcycle and the crashed EV)? Is that a requirement?

  5. Jay Donnaway says:

    Thanks for acknowledging the 2012 i-MiEV run. The only mods on that car were an air dam and roll cage. Bone-stock drivetrain! Was the FIt running on slick roads?