PART 2: GETTING RESULTS
comes to calling each note. Call it too
early and the driver is going to have to
hold the info in his head; call it too late
and he won’t have time to react. But
Millen was impressed at how quickly
the rookie navigator found her rhythm.
“Christina has been incredible,” he says.
“When you’re looking down at the notes,
total concentration, you’re having to feel
where you are on the stage, but she’s a
natural. For me to be fully committed in
the car, I have to totally trust what she’s
telling me, and I know I can.”
Competing in the two-wheel-drive class
in a program of rallies that took them to
Idaho, Arizona and Oregon, as well as
home state events in California, it didn’t
take long for the results to start coming.
Third in 2WD on the Idaho Rally debut
was followed by a first class win in
Mendocino. Three more class wins followed
at Gorman, Calif., Prescott, Ariz., and
Mt. Hood, Ore., with overall podiums on the
latter two showing that the RAV4 wasn’t
only competitive against 2WD machinery,
but could mix it with the all-wheel-drive
cars racing for outright victory.
The accomplishment wasn’t lost on
Ryan’s father, rally and Pikes Peak Hill
Climb legend Rod Millen.
“Let’s face it, the RAV4 doesn’t have a
history of being a rally car,” he says. “But
for me it was a thrill to watch how fast
Ryan and Christina were able to push it.
As a front-wheel drive car, seeing it
running right up there with four-wheel
drive cars was mightily impressive.”
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Used to be that the Unsers
were the undisputed royalty of
the Pikes Peak International
Hill Climb. But the Millen
family are fast building their
own claim to the throne, too.
Dad Rod is a five-time
winner of “The Race to the
Clouds,” and older son Rhys
was fastest man up the
mountain in 2015 – recording
the second fastest time in
Peaks Peak history driving an
Making it a “Millenfest”
this year was Ryan, who
swapped his rally RAV4 for
an electric version (ABOVE).
He took a win in the EV
production class in his first
start on the 12. 42 miles,
156-plus turns and 4,720ft
of ascent of the storied
Colorado mountain course.
PIKES PEAK 2015
(MAIN) In the
Millen, Christina Fate
and the RAV4 rally
car. (INSET LEFT)
notes with his father,
rally legend Rod.
TOYOTA STOCK CAR
“It really is a
RAV4,” says Ryan
Millen. “stock engine,
and stock brakes,
and we’re taking it to
the absolute limit.”
• IN THE NEXT ISSUE: THE ART OF FAST