RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. (May 14, 2014) — Giti Tire (USA) Ltd. is returning to the historic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 29 with an entry in the electric vehicle division.
The company said it played a “key role” in last year’s victory by Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and his “Monster Sport E-Runner Pikes Peak Special.” This time around Mr. Tajima will be driving the 2014 Monster Sport E-Runner Pikes Peak Special based on last year’s machine with some performance enhancements, including specially designed 18-inch GitiCompete GTR1 slicks — size 340/710-18 — instead of the 20-inch version used last year.
The team this year will employ the CHAdeMO rapid-charging station on site to charge the vehicle batteries safely and speedily, Giti said. The E-Runner uses two GKN EVO eDrive Systems motors with a SIM-Drive controller and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) MLiX lithium-ion battery.
In the 2013 event, Mr. Tajima set a new electric vehicle record of 9:46.530 after Giti Tire engineers hand cut tread grooves into the 20-inch slicks that had been specially designed for the 1,000-horsepower vehicle, according to Giti.
With last year’s winning time, Mr. Tajima surpassed the 9:51.278 mark he turned in during the 2011 race in a gas-powered Suzuki SX4, when he became the first driver to crack the Peak’s elusive 10-minute barrier.
Using Japanese technology, the Monster Sport E-Runner is sponsored by the Association for the Promotion of Electric Vehicles, whose goal is to preserve and realize a self-sustainable society.
Armand Allaire, Giti’s vice president of marketing, said the tire marketer “is thrilled to continue our support of the company’s global motorsports efforts at this year’s iconic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition.
“Involvement in motorsports events like Pikes Peak drives our engineers to constantly seek better technology solutions for superior tire performance. There’s no question that advancements made on the race track are incorporated into our everyday tires for the benefit of all our customers, including the GT Radial line which is carried here in North America.”
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, begun in 1916, is the second oldest motor sports race in America. It is run on a 12.4-mile course with 156 turns that begins at 9,390 feet and finishes at the 14,110-foot summit.
Giti Tire USA, based in Rancho Cucamonga, is the sales and marketing operation in North America for Singapore-headquartered Giti Tire Pte. Ltd., which manufactures GT Radial brand tires for passenger and commercial vehicles at plants in China and Indonesia.
Hankook Tire America Corp., Discount Tire/America’s Tire and Michelin North America’s TCi Tire Centers L.L.C. unit are among the sponsors of the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.