Millen Drives Hankook Hyundai to Victory at Pikes Peak Hill Climb
- - Hankook Competition driver wins Time Attack class at 95th Race to the Clouds
PIKES PEAK, Colo. – Hankook Competition driver Rhys Millen won the Time Attack class at the 2017 Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb during the event’s 95th running Sunday, navigating the 12-mile course in 9:47.427, fourth in the overall competition and less than a second off the Time Attack world record he set in 2012.
Millen and his RMR team won the class by more than two seconds in a modified version of the record-setting 2012 car atop special-compound Hankook Ventus F200 tires designed exclusively for the event.
“This car remains undefeated on Pikes Peak in the Time Attack division,” Millen said. “It’s a testament to the team’s ability to chase the setup of the mountain year after year and fend off top-level drivers.”
The winning performance is far from Millen’s first trip to the top. Last year he broke the world record for the Electric Modified class. This year he returned to the 4.1-litre, 750-horsepower Hyundai Genesis Coupe that drove him to glory five years ago. Hankook Tire engineers crafted Ventus F200 tires that were tailored to withstand Pikes Peak’s demanding environment.
Millen set the qualifying record earlier in the week (3:59) and finished the bottom part of the course four seconds faster on race day. Ultimately, however, challenging road conditions toward the top of the mountain prevented him from topping his 2012 record.
“The weather systems that came in Friday and Saturday made the road dirty and took away the grip level,” Millen said. “The car was walking around a little and struggling for grip, and that ultimately took away our target time but was enough to win on the year.”
Given the difficult environment, Millen was pleased with his performance.
“First place again, and only a second off the fastest the car has ever gone on a dirty road where a lot of drivers were missing their bogey times by 10-to-12 seconds,” Millen said. “I’m really happy.”
“Hankook was honored to play a role in Rhys’s victorious run,” said Hankook Tire Motorsports Marketing Specialist J. David Rich. “Based on Rhys’ feedback on the new Pikes Peak compound F200 during early week testing, we were confident we would have a shot at success. Rhys backed that up by setting a new qualifying record on Thursday and winning the Time Attack class Sunday. We are thrilled with the result.”
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb boasts a rich heritage. Founded in 1916, the Race to the Clouds rambles up a 12.4-mile course to the summit of Pikes Peak, the top tourist destination in Colorado. Climbers wind their way through 156 turns and ascend 4,720 feet to the mountain’s summit, which features an altitude of 14,115 feet.
Millen is one of several drivers Hankook sponsors across multiple formats. The company also has a strong presence in Formula Drift, where it sponsors six drivers, including last year’s series champion, Chris Forsberg.