Mitsubishi Motors’ (MMC) team of seasoned drivers Greg Tracy and Hiroshi Masuoka clocked both the first- and second-best times in the qualifying round in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s (PPIHC) Electric Division. During the qualifying session held for the Electric Division on June 27, Greg Tracy clocked the quickest time in the Electric Division with a time of 3:56.287, while Hiroshi Masuoka posted a run of 3:57.777. The one-two finish in the qualifying round bolsters MMC’s hopes of capturing the overall title on the June 30 race day.
The MiEV Evolution II competition vehicle for this year’s PPIHC event utilizes components based on MMC’s production vehicles developed alongside partner suppliers. The MiEV Evolution II’s new design features next-generation EV components including a high-capacity battery and enhanced electric motors for increased output. The team of MMC and its partners utilized valuable data retrieved from last year’s race in order to improve vehicle and driving performance by devising a quad-motor four-wheel drive (two front and two rear) format. This design improves on last year’s i-MiEV Evolution, allowing for better handling and overall performance. The MiEV Evolution II retains MMC’s proprietary S-AWC (Super-All Wheel Control) system also used in the Lancer Evolution.
The 2013 PPIHC race week commenced on June 24 at the World Arena Colorado Springs with vehicle technical inspections. Starting the following day on June 25, the 12.42-mile (approximately 20km) course has been split into three different sections (Bottom, Mid, and Upper) for every competitor to test all three sections through over the course of three days. Within the test sessions, the Electric Division qualifying was held on June 27.
After the practice, team captain and driver Hiroshi Masuoka commented on his run: “Since I crashed in this bottom section last year, I still have a lot to improve through this portion of the course. It took me a while to run under 4 minutes through this section, but during my last run I was able to jump up to 3 minutes and 57 seconds and I am pleased with this result. The car is running great and I did not make any changes to the car setup. In order to thank the team for preparing such a fantastic car and to the fans who have been supporting our program, I will continue to push hard to make great runs.”
In addition, Greg Tracy, reflected upon his performance: “I am extremely excited about being the quickest in the EV Division. By being the quickest in the class, I will be able to choose the run order during the race day within our division, which may be advantageous – especially if there are any issues with weather or changing road conditions. The car today has improved much more in comparison to the practice day on Tuesday and is very stable and easy to drive. I look forward to keeping this momentum for tomorrow’s practice.”
Electric Division Qualifying Times
1 Greg Tracy MiEV Evolution II 3min 56sec287
2 Hiroshi Masuoka MiEV Evolution II 3min 57sec777
3 Nobuhiro Tajima Pikes Peak Special 3min 58sec189
4 Rod Millen TMG EV P002 4min 04sec331
5 Janis Horeliks PP01 4min 19sec488
6 Ikuo Hanawa HER-02 4min 46sec789
7 Roy Richards Fit-EV 5min 28sec018