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