Tajima’s determined to get his ninth race title
All tuned up and raring to go
Eight-time King of the Mountain Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima has confirmed he will pilot his new 670 hp ‘Super 86’ hillclimb car in the Race to the Sky later this month.
Tajima’s car was developed in 2013 from a Toyota GT86 sports car and boasts amid-mounted, 2977cc V6 twin-turbo engine, an over-sized rear wing, and redesigned induction and exhaust layout.
The Japanese motorsport star’s own team, Monster Sport, has given the vehicle a full tuning ahead of its international debut.
Tajima, 64, is determined to win.
‘‘Of all of the gravel hillclimbs, this is number one, and now that it is the longest in the world it makes it even more special,’’ said Tajima.
‘‘The course is fantastic. Yes it is very tough but the safety is great and the views are amazing. I’ve held the title of King of the Hill eight times now, so I need two more to make it 10.’’
Tajima set the course record of 8min, 1.17 seconds in 2006. The only year he competed and didn’t win – 2001 – the title went to the late Possum Bourne.
Kiwi star Rod Millen won the Race to the Sky in 2002, when Tajima did not compete.
Tajima’s career spans many years with numerous championship titles at home, but internationally he’s best known for his hillclimb successes in New Zealand’s Race to the Sky and America’s iconic Pikes Peak International Hillclimb.
Tajima has earned two Japanese rallycross championship titles in the Super 86.
Highlands Motorsport Park general manager Mike Sentch said there would be ‘‘one heck of a match-up’’ between Monster Tajima and Alister McRae (Scotland), driving the late Bourne’s Vantage Subaru.
The Vantage Subaru is expected to boast around 750 hp when Possum Bourne Motorsport finish their pre-event preparation.
The Cardrona event is fully subscribed with 100 competing.
Monster Tajima with his Super 86. Photo: Supplied