Beccy Gordon to Race Mitsubish i-MiEV – Pikes Peak 2012
Although lots of attention at tomorrow’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will be paid to Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima and Hiroshi Masuoka in their electric hill climb specials (which may be capable of breaking the 10-minute barrier), there’s another driver in the field who will be going much slower but still having lots of fun—Beccy Gordon, who’s racing a bone-stock Mitsubish i-MiEV in the 7-car Electric Vehicle Class.
I had a chance to chat with Beccy—NASCAR star Robby Gordon’s sister and wife of IndyCar driver Ryan Hunter-Reay—on Saturday before the race.
“The only adjustment we’ve made to the car is tire pressures,” jokes the off-road racer. “Well, that and to the mirrors.”
She’s telling the truth. Her 2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV really is stock, apart from the requisite safety equipment and removal of the seats. The 49-kilowatt electric motor has not been touched; nor has the 16kWh lithium-ion battery been improved. Beccy adds that even the tires are tiny stock units, size 145/65-15 in front, 175/60-15 in back.
”My teammate (Hiroshi Masuoka, in the 3-motor i-MiEV Evolution) is going up there to win; my goal is to get to the top and prove that the production i-MiEV has what it takes.”
Although Beccy has no expectations with regard to an overall time on the now fully paved 12.4-mile course, she says a run in the 14-minute range would be great. She will also be using oxygen during her race up the mountain. “I’m used to living at sea level,” says Beccy, a Florida resident. “I don’t want to get dizzy.”
In other Pikes Peak news, Beccy’s teammate Hiroshi Masuoka, a Paris-Dakar legend, crashed in practice at Engineer’s corner, and the whole front of his potent 3-motor i-MiEV Evolution had to be rebuilt. After a new steering rack was flown in from Japan and an all-night thrash, they are testing the car today at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
One final note: Porsche factory driver Roman Dumas, in a privateer Porsche 911 GT3, is looking really fast. Will this be the year a road race car finally wins at Pikes Peak?