This week, one of the most famous names in the history of the Pikes Peak hillclimb smashed the course record. Rhys Millen, driving a Hyundai Genesis, shaved 5.0sec off the record on the newly-tarmaced track.
Rhys Millen is the son of Rod Millen, a driver who dominated the event throughout much of the 1990s. He set the course record in 1994 with a time that stood until 1997.
Millen junior narrowly edged former Le Mans winner Romain Dumas’ Porsche 911 GT3 R by less than two hundredths of a second over the 12.42-mile course.
This year’s event is the first time the entire course has been paved, although the winding route to the 4303m summit has been largely unchanged since the original route was laid. The Pikes Peak hillclimb now features classes for vintage, electric, open-wheel and production-based cars, as well as motorcycles and sidecars.
Pikes Peak's story began in the early 1800s, when American President Thomas Jefferson ordered the exploration of the Great Plains and beyond. A few years later, Lt. Zebulon Pike saw the mountain which bears his name. He never reached the summit, and declared it unconquerable by man.