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This year the big news about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is about who isn't showing up. Sebastien Loeb, fresh off his record setting run last year, hasn't bothered coming back (and probably won't unless someone breaks his record). The Millen family is also noticeably absent. Rhys and Rod have been driving here for the past couple of decades but it looks like Rhys is focusing his efforts on Global RallyCross.

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Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima has had an action-packed 62 years of life. He has been a hillclimb and rally racer, a rally team manager, and a tuning shop owner. But he is best known for his 2011 Pikes Peak run where he shattered a world record, and the 10-minute barrier, in his own Monster Sport Suzuki SX4.

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The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second-oldest motorsports event in the United States, having been contested since 1916. It's an outlier in the sanitized, corporate-sponsored world of professional racing, remaining true to its unique and local roots. The race has a long history of encouraging ingenuity and experimentation, so its not surprising that proponents of alternative fuels have long mixed it up amidst the more conventionally deployed big blocks and turbos.

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