Sunday June 28, the 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race Day Finals Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorado
For their 4th year challenge, TEAM APEV with MONSTER SPORT pitched their newly developed electric machine "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One". In their short period of development time, the electric car featured technologies connected to future mass production cars for the consumer market. With a peak output of 1.1MW (Megawatt: Approx. 1,500PS) and 4 wheel independent torque vectoring control, the car is a safe and quick machine aimed to pursue ultimate high performance only found in electric propulsion.
The race day started with bright sunshine and warm climate, luring the sense of a wonderful day to hold the race finals. The 2-wheel division started out first then on to the 4-wheels. MONSTER Tajima piloting the "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One" started fourth in line. In the same Electric Modified Division, rival driver Rhys Millen started out third before MONSTER Tajima began chasing after him up the mountain. The crowd cheered to the aggressive acceleration of electric cars as they launched out the starting line.
However the mechanical brakes failed during the race causing a huge loss in time. Determined not to give up, MONSTER Tajima safely managed to dash across the finish line 4,300m up at the mountain peak. The time marked 9 minutes 32 seconds 401 which stands as a massive 11 second improvement over his last personal record.
Despite the day starting out with beautiful weather, during the afternoon it quickly changed into a barrage of hail covering the mountain into a desolate silvery world. At the base of the mountain was a severe thunderstorm which caused suspension of the race by race officials. The heavy rain and thunder receded away 30 minutes later, however due to safety concerns the course was truncated, and the finish line moved down to Glen Cove. This means that all entrants who have made it up to the peak will have their time qualified only up to Glen Cove as their official time. This is just one of the charms of challenging the Pikes Peak Hill Climb of its unabridged unrelenting reality of mother-nature being itself but it is also the principal reason why numerous research and development team from auto manufactures visit the mountain.
Our race result is not a match with Driver Rhys Millen quite naturally, as his car is a different concept and separate category as its sole purpose is aimed to achieve a great time up the mountain. Similar to a racing kart, it is a massive 324kg lighter weight than our car. Having said that, the significance of electric cars with independent concepts winning 1st and 2nd place overall for the first time in racing history at Pikes Peak Hill Climb, is the best possible result we achieved with our consumer market car developing package.
|1||3||Rhys Millen||eO||Electric Modified||9:07.222|
|2||1||Nobuhiro Tajima||TAJIMA||Electric Modified||9:32.401|
|3||98||Paul Dallenbach||PVA||Open Wheel||9:36.496|
|4||111||Jeff Zwart||PORSCHE||Time Attack1||9:46.243|
|5||88||Spencer Steele||PVA||Open Wheel||9:53.494|
|6||18||Clint Vahsholtz||FORD||Open Wheel||9:55.479|
Because of the severe weather and course shortening ALL TIMES ARE INVALIDATED!!! Check the PPIHC website for final Official Results at a later time.
On Day 3 Practice / Qualifying we revisited the top section of Pikes Peak once again.
This is the same identical course as the sanctioned practice held on the 23rd.
It is a convenient opportunity for the team to compare and verify the performance improvements implemented during the past sleepless days.
As usual, practice starts at 5:30AM. The weather is fine and the climate is nominal.
MONSTER Tajima piloting the "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One" attacked the course while carefully checking and confirming each element on the car that was worked upon to be improved.
The outcome proved itself in the resulting time, which marvelously surpassed the time set on Day 1.
Despite the short time period to build and develop, the car is now coming together in the racing setup and the team is feeling positive about it.
The premise of our challenge and aim is to promote and help expand the global use of electric vehicles and derive any and all technology developed in racing the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb to be used in production vehicles.
Developments are progressing favorably, and the future outlook is becoming clear.
The 93rd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Finals will be held after ‘Set-Up Day’ on Saturday and the first competitor starts out at 8AM on Sunday 28th. 2-Wheeled Divisions start first then onto the 4-Wheeled Divisions.
|3||83||Tim O'Neil||Entropy Racing||3:15.83||3:12.45||3:18.64||DNS|
|4||82||Rick Knoop||Entropy Racing||3:33.89||3:23.58||3:16.51||DNS|
Day 2 Qualifying / Practice was held at the middle section of Pikes Peak hill climb.
Drivers start out from Glen Cove soon passing by the forest line and face the barren and steep mountain side. The road then climbs into a serpentine and hairpin combination. The steepness is as if launching the drivers into the sky as they gain more and more altitude. Here the hairpin turns have a small radius and connect to steep inclined serpentine roads, which causes drivers to go into a pattern of hard braking in approaching a hairpin turn and dashing right out of it to the next hairpin and so on. The key strategy to save time here counts on how well the driver could get the speed up as early as possible.
As usual, the day started before sunrise at 5:30AM. There is nothing to break the blowing cold wind passed the forest line. Careful and precise driving is a requirement until the sun comes out to warm up the road surface. MONSTER Tajima piloting the "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One" made 3 runs and brought back valuable data back to the team.
The team had continued to solve many problems commonly encountered with a totally new vehicle. The majority of remaining issues up till yesterday were mostly defined and clear to them. After the practice laps at the mountain, today was a day to test many tuning and driving patterns in a private session. Four wheel independent control system went through further refinement, focusing on improvents of drivability and traction. "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One" is steadily and surely accumulating data and maturing. With only 2 days to race day, the team burns the candle at both ends with eyes set on the starting line for the final race.
Tomorrows Practice / Qualifying Day 3 will be a revisit to the top section of the mountain. The great Fan Fest will be held in the evening at the town center of Colorado Springs. With 37 thousand visitors at the event, the entire town is sure to be lively with the Pikes Peak Hill Climb heat. The event definitely sets the tone to welcome the final race day.
|3||83||Tim O'Neil||Entropy Racing||3:12.78||3:09.40||DNS||3;05.83|
|4||82||Rick Knoop||Entropy Racing||3:26.91||3:21.49||DNS||DNS|
Day 1 Practice / Qualifying - Today Electric Modified division runs the bottom section of the mountain. This time drivers start out from the starting line just like the race finals, then gradually gain altitude up to a point 1 mile before Glen Cove where the bottom section ends. In total, the bottom section distance spans 10km long, which is actually nearly half of the full Pikes Peak race course. The route runs through the vast beautifully wooded area of Pike National Forest. Road condition here was found to be quite acceptable and the plenty wide road provided comfortable driving.
5:30AM Qualifying / Practice run starts.As for weather, clouds were observed although without concern of rain fall and the temperature seemed warmer than yesterday. We all know driver "MONSTER" Tajima is very experienced and familiar to the Pikes Peak course, as he climbed to the top a few dozen times in the past. On the other hand the MONSTER's totally new car "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One" had only just started on its maiden voyage. It boasts a high-tech, highly intelligent Torque Vectoring 4 motor independent control onboard, however it must start learning the race line and take in various factors of the entire hill climb stage.And so the team dilligently work to make adjustments in preparations for the road conditions expected to be at the final race.
Qualifying / Practice Day 2 tomorrow will be, last but not least, the middle section of Pikes Peak hill climb. This section features a serpentine / hairpin mountain road engraved onto the steep mountain side climbing and gaining altitude at fantastic rate. In order to achieve a great time, power and traction must work in unison.
Electric Modified Division
|3||83||Tim O'Neil||Entropy Racing||4:51.013||4:50.535|
|4||82||Rick Knoop||Entropy Racing||5:23.560||4:57.466||4:56.292|
The highly anticipated 93rd Pikes Peak International begins its race week. After the Registration and Technical inspection on the 22nd, on the 23rd the actual driving on the course begins. Although participation in the practice run is optional, the team places high value to the rare opportunity of running the course.
Today the Electric Division was allocated the ‘Top Section’ of the mountain.This is the part from ‘Devils Playground’ at altitude 3,800m to the ‘Finish Line’ at 4,300m.The mountain saw snow fall right before the race week with much snow remaining on the face of the mountain; a sight unseen in recent years.Paddock and race course were restored to usable condition, and it looks to be without any problem for the race.
On the other hand a problem emerges in relation to the course’s condition. Over the past seasons the road surface became alarmingly uneven and one could see the waves in continuous sections. The worse sections would throw racing cars off the course. This day 2 machines suffered and went off the course.
As the top section is overall a high speed section, even the subtle waves and gaps affect the race machine requiring further precision in driving. One might think that since the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is now a fully paved course, race machines would be tuned closely to race tracks. However this is not the case. Pikes Peak still retains its unique property as a race using public road, requiring machine and driver to adapt to varying environmental conditions. This is one of the reasons why TEAM APEV with MONSTER SPORT continues to participate in this particular race, to refine the technology to adapt.
‘MONSTER’ Tajima piloting "Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One", focused all senses to ‘read’ the changes of the road condition during practice. This is to draw the optimal racing line and simultaneously verify the direction to take the calibration and tuning of the EV race car.
Tomorrow for Practice/qualifying Day 1, Electric Division will run through the rich wilderness of trees in contrast to today’s section. As the practice runs would act as qualifying time, achieving a good time would be important, however looking at the race in total, tomorrow would be a full day to find the best tuning adaptable to the entire Pikes Peak race course.