Pennzoil Powers Rod Millen at the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
This year, for its 100th running, Pennzoil decided to celebrate the race by bringing to Colorado both heritage and performance, passion and determination - because that’s what it takes to be the number 1.
This year marked the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb’s (PPIHC) 100th anniversary. For more than a century drivers and fans from around the world have converged on the famous mountain to be a part of the prestigious hill climb competition.
The 19.98-kilometer, 156-turn racecourse begins at over 9,300 feet and ends at 14,115 feet above sea level and has long served as an automotive proving ground to spotlight performance under turbulent conditions.
Pennzoil decided to celebrate the race by bringing to Colorado both heritage and performance, passion and determination - because that’s what it takes to be the number 1. And who better than PPIHC top competitors Rod & Rhys Millen to help Pennzoil tackle the challenge?
In October 2021 Pennzoil had a bold idea – bring out of retirement the 1998 and 1999 PPIHC champion Toyota Tacoma. Rod Millen, 71, accepted to take his monstrous 1000-horsepower, 1998 Toyota Tacoma back up the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. This Tacoma boasts an amid-mounted 2.1-litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine that can go from 0-100 in two seconds. To keep it low to the ground, the Tacoma has venturi tunnels hidden underneath its sleek bodywork to exploit ground effect and create downforce: making it one of the most extreme race cars to have ever tackled the might of Pikes Peak. Rod’s Tacoma is powered by Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W-40 motor oil.
Rod’s son, Rhys, entered in a 2016 Porsche 991 GT3R.
Rhys Millen’s car was uniquely designed by the E-Motion team and it also leverages history by mounting a flat 6 Mezger engine and 2 massive turbos, delivering a baseline of 1,000rwhp at 8,000rpms and 700lb/ft of torque at just 4,500 rpms.
Rhys trusted our Pennzoil Platinum Racing 10W-60 Full Synthetic motor oil to help protect his 6-cylinder engine and his ambition for the top spot in the open class. This race marked Rhys’ 27th run.
Both drivers are seasoned, accomplished veterans of the annual PPIHC. In 1992, both Rod and Rhys won their respective classes. Other honors include: Rod Millen was the last to win on an all-dirt road and set a world record that stood for 13 years and Rhys Millen was the first to win on an all-paved road in 2012 and set the new world record at the time.
Race conditions in 2022 were less than ideal, with dense fog limiting the view for the whole third and final section, and wet roads added to the challenge of unleashing the cars to their full potential.
At the end of the day, both Millen competitors made it to the top of the mountain. Rhys Millen won his class and placed 6th overall, getting to the top in under 11 minutes and bringing Pennzoil home a trophy. His father followed closely behind him getting 3rd in his class and 8th place overall. Rod, despite being in the exhibition class, was faster than his son in the first stretch of the race.
The proof is on top of the mountain. The proof is in the Pennzoil.