Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, who almost singlehandedly put a face on the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb over three decades, was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame on October 23.
The legendary driver was accompanied by his wife, Yumiko, for the gala evening with 425 attendees on hand at the Broadmoor World Arena.
Tajima is the sixth Hill Climb celebrity to join the Hall of Fame, produced by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, since the inaugural ceremony in 2000.
The others are Bobby Unser (2000), Leonard Vahsholtz (2008),Nick Sanborn (2013), longtime chairman Bob Gillis (2015), and theDonner Family (2017).
The Japanese driver was the first in history to break the elusive 10-minute mark when he piloted his twin-turbo Suzuki SX4 to the summit of 14,115-foot America’s Mountain with an extraordinary time of 9:51.278 in 2011. He made his debut on the Peak in 1988, taking third in the new Production GT Class in a Mazda 323 4WD auto, jump-starting a brilliant relationship with the race that now spans thirty years.
The 67-year-old driver/businessman, Chairman and CEO of the Tajima Motor Corporation, dominated the prestigious Unlimited Division from 1992-2011. He won the division eight times, including six times in a row from 2006-2011, placing himself among the great drivers of past years who won the signature event– Michele Mouton, Bobby Unser, Ari Vatanen, Walter Röhrl, Rod Millen, David Donner, Romain Dumas and Sébastien Loeb.
Tajima recorded four sub-ten minute finishes, the best being his 9:32.401 in 2015 when he took second to Rhys Millen in the Electric Modified Class. Tajima was named King of the Mountain seven times and recorded ten wins. He was inducted into the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Museum Hall of Fame in 2016.