Avon Tyres is aiming to be the first tyre manufacturer to beat the 10-minute barrier at the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event on July 19. Essex-based team, Mach 2 Racing, is entering the famous race up the Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado Springs, USA, with a 1,150bhp Ford RS200 driven by double ex-British Rallycross Champion, Mark Rennison.

The 12-mile Pikes Peak course starts at 9,440 feet and ends at an altitude of 14,110 feet. Its 156 turns, mixture of asphalt and gravel surfaces and the sheer drops of up to 6,000 feet make it one of the toughest challenges in motorsport.

But Rennison and car owner, pharmaceutical businessman Alan Greenwood, believe they have the car, and the tyres, to complete the course in under 10 minutes, a feat that has never been achieved.

The Mach 2 Racing RS200 has been developed specifically for the Pikes Peak event.  Its Garrett turbo and high-octane fuel deliver 950bhp, but 70 litres of Nitrous Oxide gas boosts the power output to a mind-numbing 1,150bhp.

Mach 2 Racing Ford RS200, 1 of 2
Mach 2 Racing Ford RS200, 2 of 2

Rennison raced on Avon's acclaimed rallycross tyres when he won the British Rallycross Championship (BRC) in 1987 and '88 and said there was no contest as to his choice of rubber for such a gruelling event.

"When I first tested the car, it was on different tyres but the team had some Avon rallycross tyres so I tried them and they transformed the car," he explained. "We tested the tyres at Millbrook on harsh concrete and they stood up extremely well, so I am sure they will be well-suited to the Pikes Peak course.

"If everything on the day goes right and the weather conditions are good beating the 10-minute barrier shouldn't be a problem. But strange things happen at Pikes Peak, it's a unique event."

Practice on different sections of the hillclimb will be between July 15-17, with each competitor getting a single timed run up the full course on Sunday, July 19.