Monster Video: Watch Monster Set a Sub-Ten Second Pikes Peak Record in 2011
This week, as ENEOS-sponsored driver and 2011 Formula DRIFT champion Dai Yoshihara prepares to make his first attempt at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in the #86 ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports / Turn 14 Distribution race car, we thought it would be fun to look back to 2011, when Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima broke the 10-minute barrier, besting and setting a new record with a 9:51.278 time before the course was fully paved.
Making his racing debut during the late ’60s, Tajima has famously associated himself with Suzuki, helping establish its in-house motorsport division Suzuki Sport during the early ’80s. He competed in the World Rally Championship, Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and the Junior World Rally Championship until 2002, when he decided to retire and become team manager at Suzuki Sport. However, it’s his hillclimb skills he’s best known for, having started competing at Pikes Peak in 1989.
Tajima formed the Suzuki World Rally Team in 2006, and the following year beat Rod Millen’s 13 year-old Pikes Peak course record in a Suzuki Sport XL7, which gave him the fastest run in the race’s history with a 10:01.408. He’d win again in 2008, 2009 and 2010, using a Suzuki XL7 and twice in the SX4, respectively. But then he got behind the wheel of the GoPro Monster Sport SX4 in 2011, and that’s when we saw him wreak major damage. His years of rally and hillclimb racing proved invaluable throughout the many challenges of the course, which still had dirt sections at the top, unlike the fully paved route of today.
Watch the three videos below of Tajima’s Monster record-breaking run from 2011. See how controlled his driving is, even during the diciest turns; would you get that close? And get ready to cheer our own Dai Yoshihara on as he takes the #86 ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports / Turn 14 Distribution Toyota 86 on his own hillclimb challenge in 2019!
Photos By: HRE Wheels