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USA: AUTOMOBILES: Startup EV West vies to race in Pike’s Peak climb

EV West partner Michael Bream streaks by in the electric-powered race car to be driven this summer by Carlsbad race car driver Boris Said in the Pike’s Peak International Hill climb. BILL WECHTER |

A new king of the hill could be in the making.

When trendsetting racer Nobuhiro Tajima, nicknamed the “Monster” of the annual Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb, announced that he was dumping his gasoline-fueled sport car and going with a spiffy electric-powered vehicle for this summer’s race, the founders of San Marcos-based EV West were already thinking of doing the same.

EV West got a boost, in fact, about a month ago when Carlsbad race car driver Boris Said took the company’s overhauled electric-vehicle for a few spins around the block, and was hooked.

The high-performance electric car can top speeds of 120 miles per hour, and run for more than 200 miles. But because of the 4,721-foot climb up the steep and treacherous 12.42 mile course to the 14,110-foot top of Pike’s Peak, it’s expected to run out of juice after 20 miles —- more than enough to get up there, however.

Said is entering the July 8 Pike’s Peak climb and will join about seven other electric-car drivers in the race that was completed in less than 10 minutes last year, for the first time ever, by Tajima —- in a record 9 minutes, 51 seconds. Tajima, 61, is the holder of the most wins on the course, which can be a balmy 75 degrees at the peak’s base, but raining, sleeting and snowing with freezing temperatures at the top.

“I plan to go rent a car and drive the course a few times before the race,” Said noted. “Pike’s Peak has always been on my bucket list of places to race.”


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