Tajima claims shortened Pikes Peak
- 18th July 2006, 10:15am
The "Race to the Clouds" ended at an area called Devil's Playground, which is about 4 miles short of the finish line at the summit. The new finish line was announced after three red-flag periods, including two stoppages that occurred when rain and snow blanketed the dirt, clay and gravel road near the 14,110-foot peak.
‘Monster’ Tajima, who had a chance to break the 12-year-old overall course record, was the final starter and made it to Devil's Playground for his second division title. Wally Dallenbach Jr beat his younger brother, Paul Dallenbach, to win in the open wheel category.
Driving his twin-engined Suzuki Grand Vitara special, Tajima was overjoyed with his victory.
“At last, I have once again achieved the overall win on Pikes Peak International Hill Climb! Thank you very much for all of the fans out there!” Tajima said at the finish.
Tajima’s time to the shortened finish line was faster than the time Rod Millen set in his record breaking year, 1994.
While the event still garners plenty of interest in the USA, it seems to have lost its international appeal. Long gone, it seems, are the glory days when the likes of Audi and Peugeot send drivers of the ilk of Ari Vatanen, Michele Mouton and Walter Rohrl to set the hill alight.
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