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28 June 2013

The TMG EV P002 electric race car posted the fourth-best qualifying time in the Electric Class for Sunday’s (June 30) 91st running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Rod Millen, driving the TMG-developed car, posted a time of just over four minutes (4:04.331) on the lower portion of the 156-turn course, more than 25 seconds faster than last year’s qualifying effort.

The TMG EV P002, which set the Electric Class record in 2012 with driver Fumio Nutahara (10:15.380), features an ugraded electric powertrain while aerodynamic improvements have been made by Toyota Racing Development USA.  


1st, GREG TRACY, MIEV Evolution II, 3:56.287

2nd, HIROSHI MASUOKA, MIEV Evolution II, 3:59.777

3rd, NUBOHIRO TAJIMA, Pikes Peak Special, 3:58.189

4th, ROD MILLEN, Toyota TMG EV P002, 4:04.331

5th, JANIS HORELIKS, PP01, 4:19.488

6th, IKUO HANAWA, HER-02, 4:46.789

7th, ROY RICHARDS, Fit-EV, 5:29.430

How was the Toyota TMG EV P002 in today’s qualifying runs at Pikes Peak?

Rod Millen: “It was good. We’re gaining more and more speed every time we run it -- the combination of me getting more and more comfortable in it and the team extracting a little more speed out of it. Unfortunately, our competitors are doing the same. We feel comfortable. We’ve got a nice balanced package here. We feel comfortable in terms of our race package.”

How important was today’s qualifying to determine starting position?

Rod Millen: “It’s not so much the starting position -- it’s more knowing what the vehicle is going to be like throughout that whole duration of that qualifying run. It’s a combination of very fast at the bottom and then we start to get into some of the switchbacks. Knowing what the car is going to handle like and what the balance is going to be like is really important in qualifying.”

What will you work on tomorrow to prepare for the race?

Rod Millen: “Tomorrow, we’ll be working on the middle section of the mountain and we’re going to apply a couple lessons we learned today to try to make some improvements. Then I think we’ll have a race-ready package.”

Were today’s conditions similar to what you expect during the race?

Rod Millen: “It will be a lot warmer. We will have to make some decisions on tire compounds and so on of what we will do come race day. It really is a balancing act. Perhaps more so that we’re testing in the early hours of the morning -- the temperatures are much, much cooler. We’re going to have to use experience to help us make some decisions for race day when the temperatures are a lot hotter.”

Watch a video interview with Rod Millen here.