Nobuhiro Tajima

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Nobuhiro Tajima
Personal information
NationalityJapan Japanese
Born (1950-06-28) June 28, 1950 (age 68)
World Rally Championship record
Active years1981–1999
TeamsSuzuki, (Suzuki Sport)
Rally wins0
Stage wins0
Total points4
First rally1981 Lombard RAC Rally
First winNot applicable
Last winNot applicable
Last rally1999 China Rally

Nobuhiro Tajima (Shinjitai: 田嶋 伸博, Tajima Nobuhiro, born Suginami, Tokyo, June 28, 1950; 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[edit]

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 World Rally Championship was in the 1981 Lombard RAC Rally, where he entered a Datsun.

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 Championship 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.

From 1991 to 1992, he competed in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, including dual APRC/WRC rounds such as Rally Australia and Rally New Zealand. Initially he drove a Suzuki Swift, then switched to a Suzuki Baleno Wagon Kit Car in 1997, and a Suzuki Ignis S1600 in 2001.

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 team manager of Suzuki Sport.

Tajima has continued to compete in Hillclimbing, which he is best known for. Suzuki and Tajima started the Pikes Peak challenge in 1989. In 1993, Twin Engine Cultus has won the Unlimited Division. In 1995., he drove a car which he became famous for, the V6 Suzuki Escudo, and that Twin Engine Escudo has achieved overall win.[1] 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 eight Race to the Sky overall victories from 1998 to 2007. 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.[2]

2008. he was overall winner driving Suzuki XL7 with a time of 10:18.250[3]

2009. he was overall winner driving Suzuki SX4 with a time of 10:15.368[4]

2010. he was overall winner driving Suzuki SX4 with a time of 10:11.490[5]

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.[6] 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 [1]. That year his car was electric Monster Sport E-RUNNER Pikes Peak Special. 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.

2013. he won the Electric class and placing 5th overall with a time of 9:46.530 in Monster Sport E-RUNNER Pikes Peak Special.[7] The 2013. unlimited class winning time was 8:13.878 by Sébastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 (a new record).

2014. he again improved his time, creating a new record in the Electric class, with a time of 9:43.90[8] in electric Monster Sport E-RUNNER Pikes Peak Special, that is described in detail in Speedhunters article.

2015. Tajima was driving electric Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One which was made with collaboration with Rimac Automobili. Tajima finished with a time of a 9:32:401, and made second place overall, behind Rhys Millen in Drive eO PP03 with a time of a 9:07.222

2016. he came in fifth fastest overall and third of the EVs, in his Tajima Rimac E-Runner Concept_One, behind Rhys Millen and Tetsuya Yamano. With a time of 9:51.978, the car was unable to beat last year's time (9:32.401), which itself was handicapped by a brake and overheating issues.[9]


External links[edit]