Suzuki rally legend Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima has upheld his reputation as King of the Mountain after dominating the field at the world famous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in Colorado.
Tajima won the event convincingly for the fourth successive year, finishing more than a minute ahead of his closest rivals which included two-time WRC winner Marcus Gronholm.
He completed the 19.8 kilometre-long course in 10 minutes and 15.3 seconds, beginning at an altitude of 2860 metres and negotiating 156 turns before finishing at the 4300 metre summit of Pikes Peak.
“Ongoing construction works at the top section meant I couldn’t better my record time of 2007, but with the new SX4 I know I have the car to beat the magical 10 minute mark,” said Monster.
The 2009 Suzuki SX4-based rally car used for the event boasts a turbocharged 2.7-litre V6, producing a phenomenal 650kW of power and 880Nm of torque.
However the dramatic rise in altitude along the Pikes Peak course robs engines of 30 per cent of their power by the time the driver has reached the summit, with competitors needing to employ special oxygen breathing apparatus to combat the changes in air pressure.