Kiwi Rhys Millen has won the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, setting a new world record in a race-prepared Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
US-based Millen set a blazing pace to the summit, taking only 9:46.16 to complete the course, which is renowned for its tough corners and steep climbs of over 4300 metres.
Millen says his team made their own performance enhancements to the world-record-setting Genesis Coupe, the same car that set the Time Attack 2WD record in 2011 with Rod Millen, Rhys’s father, at the wheel.
“With the insights gained from the last few years in our Genesis Coupe, the team was able to make some high-impact improvements, leveraging additional down force and traction opportunities provided by the new all-tarmac surface,” says Millen.
“And behind the wheel, my experience at Pikes Peak over the years allowed me to shave a few tenths from virtually every corner.
Breaking the 10-minute barrier is something I've always wanted to do, and it feels great to accomplish this goal in 2012,” says Millen.
The team maximised the grip potential of the new all-tarmac course but fitting a new aero package, new ultra-wide, Hankook F200 tyres on custom HRE lightweight wheels. The car’s front splitter, rear wing and rear body kit were also redesigned for additional strength, stability and down force.
For extra power, a new Garrett GTX3582 turbocharger was fitted, which yields 522 kW of power and 949 Nm of torque from the Hyundai V6 engine.
To compensate for the extra power, the brake calipers were upgraded for extra thermal capacity, and additional cooling ductwork was installed to ensure optimal brake performance at the summit’s extreme altitudes.
The car was scrutinised for any weight reduction while suspension settings were optimised for Millen’s unique rally/drift driving techniques.
It was a close race with only two hundredths of a second between Millen and second place getter Frenchman Romain Dumas.