Toyota Motorsport GmbH (TMG) was denied a realistic chance of improving its electric record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb due to bad weather in Colorado.
Heavy rain delayed the electric class and left the 19.99km (12.42mile) track very slippery, preventing the drivers matching their practice speeds when the action finally got underway.
The TMG EV P002, with Rod Millen at the wheel, battled the tricky conditions using intermediate tyres and completed its run in 10minutes 24.301seconds to finish fourth in the class.
Nobuhiro Tajima won the electric class with a new record of 9mins 46.530secs while second to fourth places in the class were covered by less than three seconds.
The TMG EV P002 finished 16th overall in a field of 143 entrants after another trouble-free run for TMG’s electric powertrain, which was upgraded for this year’s event to deliver 400kW (536hp) of power and 1200Nm (885lb per foot) of torque.
Rod Millen: “There was a chance that if weather had not played a role like it did we would have seen an electric car in the top-three overall results and that would have been really impressive. We were lined up, or certainly one of the electric cars was lined up, to do that. This technology is moving very quickly and for me to be part of all that was a real thrill. To me it was a group of people that were very passionate and enthusiastic working with this new EV technology and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. This technology is moving very fast and improving very fast and these guys are certainly on the pace.”
Claudia Brasse, TMG Executive Coordinator Strategic EV Development: “It’s frustrating that the rain meant we couldn’t see the full potential of the TMG EV P002 at Pikes Peak, but that’s motorsport. The practice times were incredibly close so we were expecting an exciting competition, and the TMG EV P002 was looking good to challenge for the title. We were happy with the upgrades we made on the electric powertrain from last year and this contributed to a significant lap time improvement in practice. We were looking forward to showing this also in the race itself, when it was realistic to beat the 10-minute barrier, but unfortunately the weather had different ideas.”