Hankook Competition Driver Rhys Millen Pursues Unfinished Business at 2017 Pikes Peak Hill Climb
- - Millen seeks new heights following a record-breaking 2016 run
PIKES PEAK, Colo. – One year after a record-breaking run at the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Hankook Competition driver Rhys Millen will aim for return glory in a car with a rich legacy of its own.
Millen and his RMR team will compete in the 101st running of the Race to the Clouds in a modified version of the car that set the Time Attack record in 2012. Millen will chase his record with the help of special-compound Hankook Ventus F200 tires designed exclusively for the event, which takes place June 25 in Pikes Peak, Colorado.
Millen is no stranger to success at Pikes Peak. Last year, he broke the world record for the Electric Modified class. This year, he will shift his focus to tackling the Time Attack class, trying to beat his own record in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe with a 4.1 litre, 750-horsepower Hyundai Lambda V6 engine, the same car that set the mark five years ago.
“Winning Pikes Peak overall in 2012 was one of the highlights of my career,” Millen said. “This is a car I’ve had great success with, and it would be icing on the cake to set the record with a tire developed for these specific conditions.”
Millen doesn’t just expect to top his time; he plans to soar past it, especially if course conditions are clearer than they were in 2012, when the roads were wet.
“We set the record in 2012 with ill weather on the upper two miles of the course,” Millen said. “As a racer, you’re never satisfied unless you have the opportunity to have a perfect run. Our starting order this year gives us a much better opportunity to have a clean road.”
The specially crafted Hankook tires will play a key role in Millen’s potential success, according to the internationally heralded New Zealand native.
“You have to have a sponsor and a group of engineers willing to push the envelope of tire construction to formulate the right balance to function specifically in that environment,” said Millen. “We’ve always been very successful at finding that balance, and I feel that we’ve absolutely nailed the compound for this event.”
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.
“Pikes Peak is one of the most mentally challenging events that any driver can take on,” Millen said. “You put everything on the line not knowing what is around the next corner. Fortunately, we have the perfect tire that will react to Pikes Peak’s changing conditions.”
“We’re excited to continue our partnership with Rhys for another year at Pikes Peak,” said Hankook Motorsports Marketing Associate J. David Rich. “His past success proves that we have the best driver and the best tire on the grid. Taking into account the continuing research and development between Rhys and our engineers, we are fully confident that the specialized compound mixed with a proven vehicle will push us all to new heights.”
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.About Hankook Tire America Corp.
Hankook Tire America Corp. is a growing leader in the U.S. tire market, leveraging investments in technology, manufacturing and marketing to deliver high-quality, reliable products that are better for consumers and the environment. Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Hankook Tire America Corp. markets and distributes a complete line of high performance and ultra-high-performance passenger, light truck and SUV tires, as well as medium truck and bus tires in the United States.