For the fifth consecutive time, Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima combined experience, skill and Falken tires to claim overall victory in the 88th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Although he did not set a new record time with his latest win, achieved one day before his 60th birthday, Tajima continues to hold the current record for reaching the peak, beating hill climb veterans Paul Dallenbach and Rhys Millen in the Unlimited Class.
He drove his new car, the 910hp Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special, on Falken WildPeak A/T tires. The new line of all-terrain, all-season tires finished with the time of 10:11.49, a few seconds faster than his winning time last year.
Tajima set a record of his own by winning for the fifth consecutive time, yet he expressed disappointment at not beating his own record of 10:01.41 set in 2007. "It was a very good run," said Tajima. "The car and everything worked well."
Following exhaustive tests at a Japanese wind tunnel facility, Monster's 2010 race car underwent extensive aerodynamic changes to better adapt to the road surface on the race to the clouds, which had smoother tarmac and less gravel than last year.
Thinning air ascending the mountain robs most motors of their power by 30 or more percent, but the increase in horsepower over last year's race car helped push the driver forward.
Proving that Pikes Peak continues its popularity, thousands of fans gathered in downtown Colorado Springs on Friday night prior to qualifying for Fan Fest. Monster, who has been competing at this international event since 1989 and first won in 1995, was on hand for photos and to sign autographs.