Back to News
Suzuki triumphant as SX4 sets new Pikes Peak record
|Date: 27 Jun 2011
||Author Type: Press Release
Suzuki continued its astonishing track record in the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this past weekend when Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima piloted his Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 to a sixth consecutive victory in what is generally considered one of the world’s most challenging motorsport events.
But the sixth win wasn’t the only reason for celebration: Tajima’s victory also marked the first time the testing, high-speed hill climb course, run on a mix of tar and gravel surfaces, has been completed in under 10 minutes.
Tajima completed the 20 km hill climb at the wheel of his highly modified, 679 kW Suzuki SX4 in 9 min 51,28 sec – almost 12 sec quicker than the previous record, set by Ron Millen 13 years ago. Millen’s son Rhys, driving a Hyundai, was second in this year’s event, but was unable to break the 10 minute barrier.
Tajima had vowed to break the 10 minute barrier this year after coming within in a second of the benchmark in 2007. He overcame winds gusting at speeds of up to 64 km, and an overheating engine, to take the sweetest Pikes Peak victory of his career.
The 2011 Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 Pikes Peak Special underwent extensive aerodynamic changes, compared to the 2010 race-winning car, with much of the focus on improving the handling on tar surfaces, while the weight was further reduced.
The 3 100 cc twin-turbo V6 engine was also improved and now boasts 679 kW of maximum power, coupled to 887 Nm of torque. This allows a power-to-weight ratio of 617 kW/ton. Top speed is well in excess of 200 km/h.
The 89th running of the world’s most famous hill climb was the last to be conducted on mixed surfaces. Already, all but about 5 km of the course has been tarred, and the event will be on tar only from next year. That made Tajima’s performance all the more remarkable.
The hill climb is run at high altitude, with the start at 2 862 metres, and the finish at a breathtaking 4 300 m – conditions that rob vehicles of power, and tax the reflexes and capabilities of the driver to extreme levels.
Suzuki has been actively involved in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb since 1989, and together with Tajima has been the dominating force in the event’s unlimited class for the past six years.