The last of the coverage from this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is still trickling in. I came across a couple of videos of the Toyota Motorsports Group EV P002 and Monster Tajima’s E-Runner that presented a nice opportunity to do a side by side comparison. What makes this interesting is that the E-Runner DNF’ed due to technical failure, but was dominating the EV class during practice. Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima beat Fumio Nutahara in the Toyota by almost 13 seconds on the 5.16 mile lower section of the course during qualifying. Tajima had set up the E-Runner with a mixed tarmac and gravel suspension settings on the first day because he was expecting a lot of gravel to be pulled onto the road surface from the side of the road which never happened. Monster switched to a faster pure tarmac setup for the later practice runs on the middle and top sections of the course. Nutahara won the EV class in the TMG EV P002 on race day and was less than 30 seconds off of the overall record set by Rhys Millen in his Formula D car. Monster Tajima DNF’ed with a motor failure, but what if he had been able to finish? Would he have been in contention to defend his overall record? After watching these two videos, I think he could have done it. This is footage of both the Toyota Motorsports Group EV P002 and Monster Tajima’s E-Runner on the top section of the course on the last day of practice before race day. Identical course and conditions make this an excellent comparison of speed. The two cars aren’t worlds apart, but the E-Runner is visibly faster and seems more stable. I think it definitely would have been within the realm of possibility for the E-Runner to pull a 30 second gap on the Toyota over the length of the 12.42 mile course. Hopefully Monster Tajima can get the kinks worked out for the race next year and put an EV on top of the overall podium.
Video 1: Fumio Nutahara in the Toyota Motorsports Group EV P002 practice run on the top section of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2012.
Video 2: Monster Tajima in the E-Runner on the same course on the same day: