Apr 10, 2014 12:00 PM by Jordan Mason
Colorado Springs------After winning the high-profile Unlimited Division nine times, including six straight from 2006-2011 in a variety of high-powered Suzuki sport autos, it remains a great story that he has switched to the Electrics in The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the third straight year.
The renowned Japanese star, who was the first competitor to break the once unthinkable 10-minute mark when he achieved the honor in 2011 when he drove his Suzuki SX4 to the summit of America's Mountain in 9:51.278, will be back on June 29 in his Tajima Motor E-Runner model in the now highly competitive Electric Modified Division.
His legion of fans were stunned when his first attempt in an Electric auto failed in 2012 when his model was forced out by a fire.
But last year, he showed that he is still a champion and King of the Mountain hopeful once again when he drove his Tajima Monster Sport Special electric auto to a blazing time of 9:46.530, the 7th fastest time in the history of America's second-oldest motor sports race behind the Indy 500.
Nicknamed "Monster" by fans and foes alike, the 63-year old driver shows no sign of retiring from the PPIHC any time soon, and that's great news for fans who will be on the course again this year to watch the famed auto-motorcycle classic.
He made his racing debut in 1968 in the All-Japan Dirt Trial Championship where he won his first race. In 1983, he established Monster Sports International, a motorsport preparation shop. In 1986 he established Suzuki Sport and returned to the World Rally scene where he competed driving a Suzuki Cultus in the Olympus Rally.
In all, he has taken nine All Japan Dirt Trial Championship titles, four WRC Championship class wins, two class wins in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships, and his ten Pikes Peak crowns.