Hill record remains unbeaten however. Full picture gallery
20 July 2009

Suzuki's Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima won last weekend's Pikes Peak hillclimb, comfortably beating the Ford Fiesta of double World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm.

However, thunderstorms meant that Tajima, driving a heavily modified Suzuki SX4 with a turbocharged 884bhp 2.7-litre V6, was unable to beat his own record time up the legendary 14-mile hill of 10m 01sec, leaving the ten-minute barrier to stand for another year. He set a time of 10m 15s.

See the Pikes Peak hillclimb picture gallery here

Twitter - follow autocar.co.uk

Gronholm was only able to record a best time of 11m 28s after being hampered by engine problems and a disintegrating tyre that was in flames as he crossed the finishing line. He also carried a co-driver on his first visit to the course, adding extra weight.

Afterwards Gronholm vowed to return to the event, but said he would need to be better prepared if he was to challenge Suzuki. He arrived in the US having only completed a short shakedown in his 800bhp Ford Fiesta.

"It would be nice to come back here again, but next time to be prepared," he said.

His team-mate, Swedish rallycross star Andreas Eriksson, had an even worse time as he rolled the sister car to Gronholm's in practice and crashed again during his timed run yesterday.

Briton Mark Rennison, driving a 1150bhp Ford RS200, could only post a fastest time of 11m 56s.

See all the latest Suzuki reviews, news and video

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq