Despite a crash on the first day of practice, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution with driver Hiroshi Masuoka was looking sharp as it crossed the line just 15 seconds behind the electric leader to clinch 2nd EV place with a 10:30.850 time.
Perhaps the most surprising/amazing result of the day was from the HCE Lightning XP12 entry. Driver Elias Anderson took it upon himself to combine a modified F600 chassis from NovaKar with a 240 horsepower electric drivetrain – supplied in part, at least, from Lightning Motorcycles – in the space of a few short months and challenge the big factory teams. His 3rd place 11:00.857 finish gave him the 13th fastest overall spot and plenty of reasons to be very proud of himself.
Michael Bream drove the electrified EV West BMW M3 to a 4th place class finish, just ahead of last year's winner and previous record holder, Ikuo Hanawa in the Yokahama EV Sports Concept HER-02. Beccy Gordon rounded out the battery-powered category in her stripped down Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
Sadly, Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, favorite to win and fastest in practice, experienced a small fire after the motor in his car apparently failed, ending his effort about a kilometer from the start line. (Hey, it could have been much worse.)
Scroll down for the official press release from the race-winning team along with videos of practice runs from both the Tajima and EV West entries.
TMG sets new Pikes Peak record
TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG) has made another step forward for electric vehicles by setting a new electric record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado, United States.
Using the TMG EV P002 race car, powered by a high-performance TMG electric powertrain, driver Fumio Nutahara set a time of 10 minutes 15.380 seconds to set a new record for electric vehicles on the now fully ashphalt 19.99km track.
After setting a new electric lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife in August 2011, TMG's electric powertrains have now set new standards on two of the toughest venues in motorsport.
Nutahara's time not only broke the previous electric record (12mins 20.084secs) by more than two minutes, it gave him sixth place overall to cap an impressive debut at Pikes Peak.
Based on a Radical chassis, the TMG EV P002 has a top speed of 240km/h in Pikes Peak configuration, with combined maximum power of 350kW from its two axial flux motors.
The TMG crew on-site spent three practice days finetuning the TMG EV P002 and its electric powertrain set-up for the gruelling climb from 2,800m to the 4,300m summit, with impressive results.
Rob Leupen, TMG Director Business Operations: "Following our new electric record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife almost exactly a year ago, TMG wanted a new challenge for our electric powertrains. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb gave us the chance not only to prove the potential of electric powertrains in motorsport but to do so in a very competitive environment as well. It's a great achievement from the team here in Colorado and also all those back at TMG in Cologne who have played their part in this successful record attempt. Thanks to them and also to our colleagues at Toyota Racing Development here in the US who gave us so much great support. Now we start the search for the next milestone for the TMG electric powertrain."
Check out photos of the TMG EV P002 in action on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ToyotaMotorsport
Find out more about TMG's EV services by clicking here: http://www.toyota-motorsport.com/en/services-en/electric-vehicle-development-en/electric-vehicle-development-intro-en
Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution Scores an Impressive 2nd-Place Finish in its 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Debut
MMNA placed 2nd in the Electric Vehicle Division (8th overall) in the 2012 PPIHC event with the i-MiEV Evolution driven by Hiroshi Masuoka, and achieved an impressive debut in a production 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV driven by Beccy Gordon. (PRNewsFoto/Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.)
CYPRESS, Calif., Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) saw its 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) electric vehicle racing team achieve an impressive debut on the difficult 12.42 mile long, 156 corner mountainside race course by recording a second-place finish in the Electric Vehicle class with its Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution with a lap time of 10 minutes, 30.850 seconds. Additionally, the lap time was good enough to finish in 8th place overall from the 170 vehicles entered (132 vehicles recording a lap time/crossing the finish line) in this year's Pikes Peak event.
Driven by Mitsubishi factory test driver and two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution is a purpose-built racing prototype that was designed specifically for the very challenging Pikes Peak race course. Featuring radically sculpted carbon-fiber bodywork, a tube-frame chassis, an advanced form of Mitsubishi All-Wheel Control (AWC) all-wheel drive and a unique tri-motor configuration, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution makes use of numerous key components sourced directly from the 100% electric-powered 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV production car including the electric motor(s), lithium-ion batteries and MCU.
The entire team was challenged early on in the event when the i-MiEV Evolution race car received extensive front end damage in the first practice session when driver and Team Principal Hiroshi Masuoka slightly misjudged his braking point for one of the numerous tight hairpin turns and went off course. The team worked feverishly to repair the damage to both the bodywork and the steering rack, resulting in no further track time for Pikes Peak rookie Masuoka in the practice sessions held on Days 2 and 3. Thanks to the team's hard work, repairs were successful, and Masuoka was back on track in the i-MiEV Evolution for race day.
"Although we missed out on capturing the top spot by finishing 2nd in the Electric Division, I'm satisfied that we were able to compete in the challenging driving conditions of this Pikes Peak course using motors and batteries from the production i-MiEV," said team principal and driver Masuoka after successfully completing the run. Masuoka also credited the team effort by stating "My mistake during the first day of practice where I went off course resulted in heavy damage to the car, and the team crew did an outstanding job to repair the car and bring back to life a perfect racecar. Thanks to our entire partner companies and team staff that helped allow us to compete in this event-I am very pleased with being able to deliver a great result for the team."
The second Mitsubishi entry, a production 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV driven by professional SCORE International off-road racer Beccy Gordon, finished 6th in the Electric Vehicle class with a time of 15 minutes, 10.557 seconds. The 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV (fitted with safety equipment and modified front and rear bumpers) was the only street-legal 100% electric-powered production car to be entered in the Electric Vehicle class this year.
"The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was awesome. It produced a lot more power – especially torque – than I had expected. The handling was also very good because so much of the car's weight – the electric motor and lithium-ion batteries – sit so low in the chassis. This allowed me to carry much more speed into the corners than I expected, and the torque from the electric motor helps to propel the car out of the corners. The car is really peppy," said Beccy about her Pikes Peak race car. "Considering my car was 100% stock, I can definitely see all-electric cars succeeding in motorsports."
With a starting net value of $21,625* for the well-equipped entry-level ES model (the premium-grade SE version begins at $23,625*), the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV is not only the most affordably-priced mass-market electric vehicle available in the United States but is also the first of several new advanced, alternative-fuel production vehicles that the Japanese auto manufacturer plans on bringing to the North American market in the next few years.
Please log on to YouTube.com/MitsubishiCars to see video of the Mitsubishi Motors team at the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and visit Facebook.com/Mitsubishi for event coverage. For more information on the racing team and the 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com.
* ES $29,125 MSRP less $7500 federal tax credit = $21,625 after tax credit; SE $31,125 MSRP less $7500 federal tax credit = $23,625 after tax credit
About Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc.
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 400 dealers. In November of 2011, MMNA launched the battery-powered electric vehicle Mitsubishi i-MiEV as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation. This battery-powered electric vehicle technology addresses the need for vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions and support a growing agenda for sustainability. For more information, contact the Mitsubishi Motors News Bureau at (888) 560-6672 or visit media.mitsubishicars.com.