June 21, 2011 – Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA – “America’s Mountain” course record holder Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima is back in Colorado Springs for the 89th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC). After securing five consecutive overall wins from 2006 to 2010, Monster Tajima is again ready to attack the 12.42 miles of switchbacks and changing surfaces this weekend. At age 60, Monster’s goals have been whittled down to one thing: to retain his nickname as “King of the Hill” and be the fastest driver to reach the finish line at the 14,110-foot summit. To achieve his goal, Monster is back with new sponsors and the next evolution of his notorious hill climb car.
Tajima’s car is an evolved piece of machinery with a very singular task – to go up Pikes Peak faster than any other. The “2011 Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special” was born at the Monster Sport Iwata Factory in Shizuoka, Japan, where among others, the Suzuki WRC cars were developed and built. The car was developed further this past year in the factory’s wind tunnel; it now generates higher downforce and less drag which will help it stay attached to the mixed surfaces around each of the 156 corners.
The four (and sometimes three or even two!) tire contact patches are the only parts that are in constant contact with the mixed surfaces, making tire selection vital. This year, long-time partner Falken Tire Corporation is providing their next evolution of tire for the team: the Falken ZIEX S/TZ01. It now features a lower aspect ratio and custom tread pattern to help cope with the increased tarmac on the course. Based on a shakedown in Japan, Monster Sport engineers were satisfied with the grip levels and handling dynamics on the tarmac surface.
Because of the lower aspect ratio, wheel strength becomes even more critical, as Tajima’s racing line sometimes includes massive cuts to gain extra tenths of seconds. Monster Tajima specifically chose HRE Wheels of Southern California for their high-precision, forged mono-block wheels. HRE Wheels is a highly-respected wheel company with 30 years of experience. They designed the “P43S Tajima Special” in GoPro blue to work in combination with the specialized Falken tires. The wheels are made out of aerospace-grade 6061 T6 aluminum to keep the wheels lightweight yet durable enough to cope with the demands of the mixed surfaces and terrain.
The heart of Monster’s vehicle is a one-of-a-kind 3.1L V6 twin-turbo Monster Sports motor. With an output of 900 bhp, a close-ratio transmission, and a lightweight 2400-pound body, the car can reach over 125 mph almost instantly. The powerful, high-revving engine will be protected with Mobil 1’s full synthetic oil.
The most apparent change this year comes from the partnership with the popular action sports camera and media company GoPro, based in Half Moon Bay, California. Monster Sport has proudly teamed up with GoPro as their main sponsor in hopes of capturing and documenting the experience with their GoPro 3D Hero System. With this system, the team will be able to release amazing 3D video coverage of Monster’s quest to break the 10-minute barrier. Fans should look for this amazing footage in weeks to come.
With over twenty years of Pikes Peak hill climb experience both past and recent, Nobuhiro Tajima is arguably the most knowledgeable about the most famous hill climb in the world. Tajima’s statement about this year’s race reads:
“There will be many racers with more powerful evolutions of their machines going up against my record this year, but it is a well-known fact among this community that the real challenge at Pikes Peak is against Mother Nature. It is Mother Nature and the mountain’s unpredictable temper that will determine whether the 10-minute record will be broken. Yes, every competitor at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a challenger against something beyond our control! I am excited to imagine that this may be the lucky year that the 10-minute barrier will fall.
“I am also going flat-out to the summit of Pikes Peak for my home country Japan, where there was massive damage and many lives lost from the great earthquake. Japan is still suffering from this terrible tragedy, and they need great motivation to get through these tough times. I want to show the world the Japanese spirit – that Japan will come back even stronger. Please support us this year by cheering for me and praying for my country.”
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ABOUT TEAM GOPRO MONSTER SPORT WITH BC:
Led by Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima himself, CEO of Tajima Motor Corporation, and managed by Paul Wilding of Monster Sport Australia, the team consists of a small but effective group of engineers and technicians from around the world with extensive World Rally Championship experience. Monster Sport [Japan], Monster Sport Australia, and Monster Sport Europe will be on hand to support Tajima’s endeavor. There will be team updates, daily video blog, and a photo gallery on the team website at:
Everyone is invited to Monster Tajima’s Fan Appreciation Day at McCloskey Suzuki at 4 PM on Thursday June 23rd. The event runs from 4 PM to 6 PM. McCloskey Suzuki is located at 6710 North Academy in Colorado Springs.
ABOUT GOPRO, INC.:
Based in Half Moon Bay, California, GoPro is the world’s leading activity image capture company. GoPro’s HD HERO line of wearable and gear mountable cameras are used by more consumers and video production professionals than any other camera in its class. GoPro’s HD HERO line of wearable and gear mountable cameras and accessories are sold in over 60 countries, in specialty sports retailers, Best Buy, and at gopro.com.
ABOUT THE 2011 PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB:
The race week of the 89th running of the notorious hill climb has a roster of 194 racers from around the world and will begin with scrutineering on Tuesday, June 21st in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. Teams will go through three days of practice along three divided sections of the course starting from Wednesday, and all teams will shoot for victory on race day on Sunday, June 26th.