Participating in a Honda-organized collaborative two- and four-wheel internal racing program at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, American Honda media coordinator Jeff Tigert was victorious in the Heavyweight motorcycle division while posting the fastest time among all motorcycle entrants. Having set the Lightweight course record in 2013 aboard a Honda CRF450R, Tigert returned this year with a Honda CBR1000RR, and his performance was nothing less than dominant. Tigert was the fastest motorcyclist on the mountain on three of the four practice/qualifying days and overcame a qualifying crash to earn pole position. In the race, his winning time of 10:02 was over 15 seconds faster than the next-closest rider.
“The week was a stressful rollercoaster of highs and lows and lack of sleep,” a relieved Tigert said afterward. “Things went really smoothly early on, but my luck changed in my second qualifying run when I crashed and went off the course. On race day I had a lot on my mind and the course was pretty sketchy, but I tried to keep calm and ride within my limits. It’s such a unique race, and the competitors are so emotionally connected to one another. It was a big weight off my shoulders when it was all over and I was presented with the checkered flag that goes to the winners.”
Honda’s effort at Pikes Peak began in 2011, and this year it had associates campaigning a wide variety of Honda models including automobiles and powersports products like the CBR1000RR and CBR600RR, in classes from the Open to Exhibition fields. Comprised entirely of Honda associates, the squad received support from American Honda, Honda R&D and Honda Performance Development. In addition, Honda partnered with the American Motorcyclist Association to provide soft-barrier technology for a number of locations on the course. Also this year, Honda offered an Acura NSX pace car for the race and utilized generators from its Honda Power Equipment division.
“Through this collection of associates, Honda seized the opportunity to showcase its diversity and capability to compete, and even win, in many of the classes at this famous hill climb,” said project leader James Robinson, a principal powertrain engineer at Honda R&D. “This program has been in place since 2011 and this year we again expanded our competitive lineup to now be largest single team at Pikes Peak. It’s a great opportunity for team building while also providing associates the opportunity to acquire additional skillsets and challenge themselves professionally and on the racecourse. We had some strong results, including seven podium finishes and three first-place finishes, and to have Jeff earn the overall motorcycle win was great.”