Rhys Millen conquered the ‘Race To The Clouds’ at this past weekend’s running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, bringing home not only an overall victory but a new world record as well.
Millen, driving his Hankook Tire equipped Hyundai Genesis Coupe, dominated the racing field of almost 200 drivers and motorcyclists posting an overall time of 9:46:164, winning the race overall and posting a new world record. Millen’s Genesis Coupe is the same car that his professional racer father Rod Millen drove to a world record time in the Time Attack 2WD class at last year’s running of the race.
Prior to Millen starting his world record run, the Open Class category racers took to the mountain with LeMans winner and factory Porsche driver Romain Dumas himself setting a world record in his full race prepped Porsche Cup Car. While Dumas’ run was quick, it wasn’t quick enough, with Millen later out driving Dumas and securing the overall win and world record for himself.
This year marked the 90th running of the race and presented competitors with a new challenge, a fully paved racing surface from the starting line to the mountain’s 14,000 foot elevation finish.
“With the newly paved section of the course and the hot weather conditions, a lot of people failed or crashed. Our car’s balance remained the same from practice to race day using our Hankook race tires the entire run,” said Millen. “Even on a slick tire and in a torrential downpour during the last half mile, with the heat we were able to achieve in the tires the grip was still adequate and we were able to produce a new world record.”
Rhys’ Genesis Coupe was fitted with Hankook’s Ventus F200 slick racing tires and was tuned specifically for the race. Rhys Millen Racing set out to build the most competitive car possible, setting up the car with a redesigned front splitter and a wider rear body kit and keeping a close eye on vehicle weight. Enhancements to the engine resulted in an incredible 700 horsepower and 700 lb. ft. of torque enabling the car to rocket to the mountain’s summit in record time.
“Rhys did an amazing job piloting his Hankook tire equipped Genesis Coupe to an overall victory and new world record this weekend,” said Hankook motorsports marketing manager Paul Jho. “Racing at Pikes Peak is extremely competitive, adding the course’s new fully paved surface made this one of the most heated events to date. I am glad that Hankook’s Ventus F200 tires provided Rhys with the performance he needed to dominate at this year’s ‘Race To The Clouds’.”
Hankook has increasingly become a staple on the American motorsports scene. The company garnered enhanced visibility and sales increases in 2011 as a result of its motorsports sponsorships and special racing programs and has continued its involvement for 2012 as an official sponsor of Formula Drift, as well as supporting teams competing in Global Time Attack, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Off-Road Racing and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill race.