$92,000 2010 FORD F150 lariat
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JUST Cars 15/08/2012
At the rescheduled Pikes Peak International hillclimb, the records were tumbling across all classes, but the overall victory went to New Zealand’s Rhys Millen, who set a new fastest time at the event.
In a Hyundai Genesis coupe specially-prepared for the high altitude hillclimb event, and against more than 200 other competitors, Millen set a new record of 9 minutes 46.164 seconds to reach the 4,300 metre summit. In securing the outright win, Millen beat the factory-backed Porsche 911 of Romain Dumas by less than two hundredths of a second!
New records across most classes for this year’s 90th running of the iconic US motorsport event can be explained, at least in part, by the fact that the entire hillclimb course is now paved. But that also caught out a number of competitors, who crashed on the fresh tarmac sections.
The Hyundai Genesis prepared by Millen’s race team, Rhys Millen Racing (RMR), had already broken the 10 minute barrier last year, with Rhys’s father, Rod, behind the wheel. The same car also scored in the 2WD class at the US Time Attack event this year.
Not content to rest on their laurels from last years' victory, RMR held nothing back in race preparation for this year's effort. Special focus was given to maximising the grip potential of the new all-tarmac course and its considerably higher average speeds. A new aero package was fitted, targeting even more downforce to accommodate higher speeds and additional grip requirements of new, ultra-wide, staggered fitment Hankook F200 racing slicks on custom HRE lightweight wheels. The front splitter was redesigned for more strength and the rear wing was redesigned for additional downforce, along with a wider rear body kit for stability.
On the power side, a new Garrett GTX3582 Turbocharger as fitted, yielding an amazing 522 kW (700 horsepower) and 949 Nm (700 lb. ft.) of torque from the Hyundai V6 powerplant. To handle this 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 entire car was scrutinised for weight reduction potential and suspension settings were further optimised for Millen's unique rally/drift driving techniques.
"This year, it really came together for the RMR team at Pikes," said Millen. "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 downforce and traction opportunities provided by the new all-tarmac surface.
"With the newly paved section of the course and the hot weather conditions, a lot of people failed or crashed.
“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."
Rhys Millen Racing has been the team to beat in recent years at Pikes Peak. In 2011, Rhys nearly broke the famed 10-minute barrier in his dedicated PM580 tubeframe hillclimb racer.
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