Honda Racing–Honda Earns Three Class Victories at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Honda Earns Three Class Victories at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
• Jeff Tigert’s CBR 1000 tops all motorcycles with a time of 10:02.735
• SuperGT racer Tetsuya Yamano wins exhibition class in CR-Z
• Nick Robinson rides CRF250R to top of 250 Challenge class
• Honda/Acura entries score class victories for 14th consecutive year

PIKES PEAK, CO (June 28, 2015) – The 93rd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb started with the roar of a brand-new Acura NSX, and ended with the rumble of a Honda side-by-side. Between those runs, 13 members of the Honda Performance Development and Honda Research and Development team made successful runs up the mountain in 11 different classes, claiming three class victories.

The Acura NSX pace car ran a ceremonial pace lap up the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak course as the first run of the day, and it didn’t take long for things to heat up as Honda rider Jeff Tigert nearly broke the 10-minute barrier in topping the motorcycle Heavyweight class on his CBR1000, with a time of 10:02.735.

Despite running only as a research vehicle, the Electric Super Handling All-Wheel Drive Prototype CR-Z posted the best time in the Pikes Peak Challenge Exhibition class as Super GT star Tetsuya Yamano navigated the event’s 156 turns in 10:23.829. Another of the early runners, Nick Robinson rode his Honda CRF250R to the summit in 12:37.000 to win the 250cc motorcycle class of the Pikes Peak Challenge, marking the 14th consecutive year that a Honda-powered vehicle has earned a class victory at the event.

“Participating in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was really exciting. Nothing else is like this event,” reported Yamano. “I am satisfied with the time of 10:23.829 made by the Honda Electric SH-AWD with Precision All Wheel Steer. This feature helped me corner quickly with good traction. I spent the time from when I was 16 to 20 years old living in Torrance, California. At that time, I did not think that I came back to the U.S. as a racing driver in PPIHC. I am happy that we completed this project for this year. Thanks to Honda R&D and the members of this project. I hope that I come back again next year.”

The weather was perfect for the early runs up the mountain, but rain, wind and lightning forced numerous delays later in the day as competitors and fans were urged to seek shelter. Continued bad weather at the top of the mountain eventually forced the second half of the field to run a shortened section of the course, as the unsafe conditions forced officials to end the event short of the summit.

The shortened course did little to slow the Honda/Acura team, however, as Michael Tsay (Electric Production), Alex Lloyd (Exhibition) and Keith Steidl (UTV) each finished on the podium in their classes.

“Pike’s Peak provides a unique opportunity to show the versatility and sportiness of our products – both Honda and Acura,” said Art St. Cyr, President of Honda Performance Development. “Congratulations to our associates who all made fast and safe runs up a very challenging course, and earned three class victories, including the fastest overall motorcycle run. It also was exciting to see the new NSX supercar on track as the pace car.

“We would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family of racer Carl Sorenson, who suffered a tragic accident on Thursday while preparing to ride in the race.”

James Robinson drove his 1991 Acura NSX to a second place in the Open class after clocking in at 10:37.547, while Zach Jacobs was the last of the Honda/Acura team to run the full course, finishing fifth in the Middleweight Motorcycle division.

“This is my third time up here and I had pretty big expectations, so I’m a little disappointed, but it feels great to make it to the top of the mountain,” Jacobs said after finishing fifth in his class. “The HPD guys did a great job with the program and the crew did everything they could to get us ready for the race. It really went well.”