We knew that Mitsubishi was headed to the mountain with the winner's podium in it sights, but it was not to be this time around. The company's two MiEV Evolution II electric vehicle did well – coming in second and third in the EV Division – but were not fast enough to beat out Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, who had a time of 9:46.530, good for fifth overall, in his Monster Sport E-Runner. The final result wasn't what we expected, since the MiEV Evolution II driven by Greg Tracy was the fastest EV in the qualifier round. Perhaps the weather played a role, since there was a heavy rain during the EV part of the competition. The two MiEV Evolution IIs finished with times of 10:21.866 and 10:23.649.
On the two-wheeled front, Engadget reports that the promise of electric drive up to 14,110 feet was proven with Carlin Dunne (he was given the ride in place of the previously scheduled Chip Yates) and Lightning Motorcycles taking first place in the motorcycle category, beating the next-fastest bike, a Ducati Multistrada 1200 S, by a time of 10:21.323.
For a full race recap, head on over to Autoblog.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 1, 2013 --
Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) saw the company's advanced all-new MiEV Evolution II race car place second and third in class in the EV Division in the 91st running of the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) in the talented hands of two-time Dakar Rally winner Hiroshi Masuoka and six-time PPIHC motorcycle champion Greg Tracy.
The race, held on June 30th, commenced in the morning under a calm, clear blue sky; however these ideal weather conditions took a turn for the worse and a downpour of rain hit the track just before the pair of MiEV Evolution II race cars commenced their runs at this legendary time trial event.
Just as Greg Tracy – who was the fastest qualifier within the Electric Vehicle division – approached the time for his run up the mountain, the poor weather forced the team to make a quick tire swap to grooved tires rather than the higher performance non-grooved racing slicks. Both Tracy and Masuoka raced in extremely difficult wet conditions, along with limited visibility in the higher sections of the race course, resulting in Masuoka recording a time of 10 minutes, 21.866 seconds, with Tracy following closely behind at 10 minutes, 23.649 seconds.
Yet even in these challenging conditions, the pair broke last year's second place time in the EV Division of 10 minutes, 30.850, achieved in 2012 by Masuoka piloting the Mitsubishi i-MiEV Evolution on a dry road in optimal conditions.
Finishing in second-place in the Electric Division for a second year in a row, team captain and driver Masuoka commented on the race: "Just before the start, since the road became completely wet, we had to swap the tires from slicks to grooved. Even with the grooved tires, the pavement was really wet and the car was sliding around quite a bit. It really was treacherous conditions to drive in, but both cars were able to make it to the top safely. Since we were aiming for the win, the result is quite disappointing. While due to this rain, it is easy to blame the result on our luck, we must also realize our weakness and continue to make improvements for the future."
For Greg Tracy, this was his first Pikes Peak attempt piloting a race car rather than a motorcycle. While disappointed by the outcome, Tracy reflected upon his difficult ascent to the summit: "Since I was aiming for the win, I am thoroughly disappointed. Due to the heavy rain that came pouring down just before our run, the conditions were not drivable. With that said, we should probably be satisfied just by finishing safely. Since it was dry during every practice session, we literally had zero time in the car in rainy conditions. However, since the MiEV EvolutionⅡ ran so well in the dry, I really would like to come back to do this again, aiming for the win."
A completely all-new design from the ground up, the technologically-advanced MiEV Evolution II features a unique quad-motor (two front/two rear) drivetrain, next-generation lithium-ion batteries by Lithium Energy Japan (LEJ), an optimized all-electric version of Mitsubishi's exceptionally capable Super All-Wheel Control (S-AWC) all-wheel drive system and wind tunnel-derived, aerodynamically-enhanced carbon-fiber bodywork.
For more information, please visit media.mitsubishicars.com and ppihc.com.
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.