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Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Rally Racing

Nobuhiro Tajima
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Wikipedia: Nobuhiro Tajima

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Born: 28 June 1950
Nickname: Monster

Biography

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Nobuhiro Tajima page on 17 November 2015, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Nobuhiro Tajima (Shinjitai: 田嶋 伸博 Tajima Nobuhiro, Japanese nickname モンスター田嶋 Monsuta Tajima), nicknamed "Monster", is a hillclimb racer, tuning shop owner, rally team manager and former rally driver who is best known for his participation in Suzuki's rallying program as well as his triumphs at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.

Racing career

Tajima made his race debut in 1968 in the All Japan Dirt Trial Championship where he won his first race. His first involvement in the WRC was in the 1981 Lombard RAC Rally.

In 1983 he established Monster Sport International, a motorsport preparation shop. In 1986, he sealed his association with Suzuki when he established Suzuki Sport, its in-house motorsport division and returned to the World Rally scene where he competed driving a Suzuki Cultus in the Olympus Rally.

In 1987, he competed in the Olympus Rally, taking his first class win and finishing 15th overall. He returned again the following year where he won his class again, finishing 7th overall. Additionally, he competed in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship.

As the Junior World Rally Championship project took off in 2002, he decided to retire from rally driving while he was competing in the Asia Pacific Rally to become its team manager. He has continued to compete in Hillclimbing, which he is best known for. His debut at Pikes Peak came driving in the Unlimited category in 1992 with a specially built twin engined Suzuki Cultus, which he followed up in 1995 with a rebodied twin engined Suzuki Escudo. The following year, he drove a car which he became famous for, the V6 Suzuki Escudo which he finished second in, losing only to Rod Millen's record-holding Toyota Celica. He used this vehicle to win the Queenstown Gold Rush International Auto Hill Climb for three consecutive years from 1998–2001.

In 2006, at the Geneva Motor Show, he announced his plan for Suzuki Sport to form the Suzuki World Rally Team, which would field a Suzuki SX4 in 2007. However, World Rally Championship calendar changes meant Suzuki's team debuted in 2008. Tajima took Pikes Peak that year with a newer version of the Vitara. Despite crashing during practice, he achieved another overall victory in a race that was shortened by rain. 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 championship and seven Race to the Sky overall victories. He also scored four points in the 1988 World Rally Championship season and finished 4th in the 2001 Asia-Pacific Rally championship for drivers.

On July 21, 2007, Tajima bested Rod Millen's thirteen-year-old course record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in his Suzuki Sport XL7, becoming at the time the fastest man in the history of the race, with a time of 10:01.408.

On June 26, 2011, Tajima bested his own record and broke the "10 minute barrier" of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a time of 9:51.278. Driving the GoPro Monster Sport SX4 Hill Climb Special, developed by Monster Sport.

For the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event, Tajima switched to the electric class, citing concerns about climate change. Although the clear leader of the class in qualifying, Tajima didn't complete the actual race due to a power transfer problem during his run.

In 2013 Tajima successfully competed in the all electric E-RUNNER Pikes Peak Special, with a time of 9:46.530 (average speed 122.8 km/h), creating a new record in the electric class, placing 5th overall, and improving on his 2011 winning time. The 2013 unlimited class winning time was 8:13.878 by Sébastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 (a new record).

In 2014 he again set a new record with a time of 9:43.90, with split 2.63.


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
1 June 2015Tajima teams up with Rimac for Pikes Peak 2015 Rimac Automobili
17 June 2015Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One 1MW Dyno Run! Rimac Automobili
24 June 2015Pikes Peak shows it's danger face Rimac Automobili
2 July 2015Electric cars win Pikes Peak! Rimac Automobili


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