NISSAN SKYLINE VICTORIOUS AT PIKES PEAK HILL CLIMB Rhys Millen Wins Division with Record Breaking Run GARDENA, Calif. (July 8, 1999)-Rhys Millen, of Huntington Beach, Calif., drove the UPRD Nissan Skyline GT-R to victory in the ...
NISSAN SKYLINE VICTORIOUS AT PIKES PEAK HILL CLIMB Rhys Millen Wins Division with Record Breaking Run
GARDENA, Calif. (July 8, 1999)-Rhys Millen, of Huntington Beach, Calif., drove the UPRD Nissan Skyline GT-R to victory in the high performance showroom stock division at the 1999 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb near Colorado Springs, Colo. on July 4. In the 12.42-mile sprint to the top of the 14,110-foot Pikes Peak summit, Millen set a new class-record with a time of 12:13.47, beating David Donner in a Subaru Impreza, and five-time hill climb winner Jeff Zwart in a Porsche Turbo S.
"We are very happy," said Millen, who won his first race at Pikes Peak in 1992 at the age of 19. "The first day of practice was basically the first day I drove the Nissan Skyline. Since it is a right-hand drive car it took me some time to get used to shifting. During the three days of practice we closed in on the competition and qualified third. On Sunday, I just told myself I had to get a clean run to the top and that's what we did."
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is one of the most challenging automotive events in the world. With no guardrails and unpredictable weather conditions, the course climbs 4,708 feet and includes 156 turns. The Millen family name has for a long time dominated the mountain including this year; Rod Millen, Rhys' father, won the event overall with a time of 10:11.15 in a purpose-built race truck.
Under Pressure Research & Development (UPRD), of Huntington Beach, Calif., managed the team and prepared the Nissan Skyline GT-R for the rigorous course in less than a month. MotoRex of Torrance, Calif, imports the Skyline GT-R from Japan. Except for B.F. Goodrich racing tires, a new exhaust system, and safety equipment, the Skyline that Millen raced to victory at Pikes Peak is the same as the one sold by MotoRex.
Millen's Nissan connection extends beyond winning his class in the 77th Annual "Race to the Clouds." He also drives the vehicles in many of the Nissan commercials and is most famous for his stunt in the recent Maxima 2000 launch commercial, "Conception," where he expertly pilots the car into an impressive slide. In addition, he is the nephew of Steve Millen, who has won two IMSA GTS Championships for Nissan.