June 28, 2016 @ 02:55 PM

Millen charges up Pikes Peak in under nine minutes

Drive eO finishes second overall and breaks previous electric class record.

Romain Dumas may have claimed the overall win at this year’s edition of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also the runs 100th anniversary, but all eyes were on defending champion Rhys Millen and his electrifying Drive eO PP1100 electric prototype car that broke the haloed nine-minute barrier for an electric vehicle and took second place.

An instantaneous 2,520Nm of torque from seven Yasa motors and 1,596bhp made the eO Pp1100 quite a handful but Millen wrestled it up the 20 kilometre course and all of its 156 corners in 8:57,118, nearly 10 seconds faster than last year’s winning time.

Nonetheless, despite being faster Dumas won with a time almost six seconds faster in his petrol-powered Honda Norma M20 RD Limited, fresh off his 24 Hours of Le Mans win last weekend.

“We came here with three objectives; to break the division record, put the car under the nine minute bar and win the overall event. The latter went to Romain and I want to congratulate him for that. We’ll be doing our homework and we’ll be back next year,” said Millen.

“Rhys and his team have worked very diligently on the car and focused on testing to ensure they are ready to push the limit beyond what they  set  last year on the eve of this landmark anniversary. Rhys's skills, technique, and equipment will combine to help him shatter his own record and truly showcase the power of electric cars and the optimum performance of his custom-fitted Hankook tyres,” said Donato Bonacquisto, Hankook Tire America Corp. Motorsports and Events Manager.

Completing the podium was Tetsuya Yamano in another electric machine, an Acura NSX-inspired four-motor Acura EV Concept.

Not one to miss the electric party, a lightly modified Tesla Model S with a smaller battery pack took the production vehicle record with Blake Fuller behind the wheel in a time of 11:48.

Dinesh Appavu

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