Pikes Peak Int'l Hill Climb news 2009-02-11

Time Attack 2WD Champ Rhys Millen Returns To Defend His Crown At The 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb On July 19 In Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, February 11, 2009----A famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion will be...

Time Attack 2WD Champ Rhys Millen Returns To Defend His Crown At The 2009 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb On July 19 In Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, February 11, 2009----A famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion will be back on the mountain on July 19 for the 87th running of the nation's second-oldest motor sport race.

Rhys Millen returns to Colorado Springs to defend his championships (2007-2008) in the thrilling Time Attack 2WD Class during the Race to the Clouds on the 14,000-foot peak. He set world record on the Peak last summer with his winning clocking of 12:31.06 in his 2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP over the demanding 156 turns.

This summer, he will be introducing a modified 550-hp Hyundai Genesis Coupe to the crowds at the Peak.

And, as tough as the Peak may be, it might be easier than his 2009 opening event in Las Vegas before a television audience (ESPN) in the millions.

The legendary driver rolled his off road pickup while nailing a mid-air somersault at a hotel and casino. If he had stuck the landing, he would have become the first in the world to achieve the feat. It beat his attempt in 2007, however, when he broke his back in the same effort.

Over 16 years of racing experience, Millen has carved out a solid career and reputation, becoming one of the most sought after performance drivers in the gigantic U.S. automotive scene.

Born in New Zealand in 1972, the San Juan Capistrano, California, competitor is the son of famed rally and off road racer Rod Millen, who won Pikes Peak crowns in 1989, 1991, 1992, and the 1994 Unlimited title. He joined his father in the United States as a teenager and founded Rhys Millen Racing at the age of 21.

RMR is an automotive tuning and parts shop concentrating on rally, drift and movie car preparation. Millen developed his legendary car control skills through various events including drifting a modified Toyota Supra to a new class world record up the world's toughest hill climb, the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 1998. Millen went on to set class records three years in a row at Pikes Peak with the potent Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution.

Millen scored a dramatic additional 2008 victory in his Red Bull Pontiac Solstice GXP at the inaugural Red Bull Drifting World Championship. The event featured the top thirty-two drifters from around the world at a purpose-built track at the port of Long Beach, CA.

Away from his hectic schedule of events Millen spends a lot of time behind the wheel performing precision/stunt driving for automotive commercials.

He also has made the transition into Hollywood, getting the role of lead stunt driver of the General Lee in the "Dukes of Hazard" movie. His performance landed him the role of lead stunt driver and stunt team drift coordinator in the 2006 release of "Fast and Furious 3, Tokyo Drift" movie. In addition, his work behind the wheel can be viewed in the movies Herbie Fully, "Redline," displaying dynamic control in cars like the Ferrari Enzo and Porsche GT, and most recently "Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull."

Drivers may now go to www.ppihc.com to sign up for the 2009 edition of the legendary race.

The "Race To The Clouds" is America's second-oldest motor sports race behind the Indianapolis 600, and has been staged since 1916. The race is run on a 12.42 mile course that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110 foot summit of America's Mountain; Pikes Peak summit.

This year's race has 11 classes and features a variety of automotive, semi truck, exhibition, open wheel, super stock car, pro truck and motorcycle classes with a field approaching 200 competitors.

The event is part of a 2009 "Summer of Sports Sizzle" in Colorado Springs, which will also host the State Games of America (July 30-August 2), with some 10,000 amateur athletes from 47 states coming to the city to compete in 29 sports.

Hybrid To Perform In 2009 PPIHC

Note From The Recent Society Of Automotive Engineers Annual Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium ( From Frank Markus In Motor Trend ) --- The final SEMA hybrid I'll mention is the RENNtech Mercedes GLK Pikes Peak Hybrid SUV. This entry also gets a souped-up combustion engine (computer upgrades, exhaust headers, new heads and cams), to which is added a mild-hybrid motor/alternator, not unlike those used in the Chevy Malibu/Saturn Aura Hybrids. This bolt-on unit supposedly adds up to 40 pound-feet of twist to the engine, drawing from a motor-generator and a 72-volt battery pack. The SEMA show car used six Optima 12-volt spiral-wound lead-acid batteries located in the spare-tire well, but a nickel-metal-hydride pack capable of being recharged during regenerative braking will be developed before this concept makes its official debut in the exhibition class at the 87th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this July.

For more information about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, please visit www.ppihc.com

-credit: The Colorado Springs Sports Corporation

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About this article
Series Hillclimb
Drivers Rhys Millen , Rod Millen