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

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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.

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"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.

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