About Rhys Millen
Rhys Millen (born in New Zealand), nephew of IMSA GTS driver Steve Millen, son of Rod and elder brother of Ryan, is one of the world’s top competitors in drifting. Prior to that in he was a top rally driver in the US, and became the first works backed driver from a car manufacturer with GM in 2004 after narrowly losing to Ken Nomura in the US D1 Grand Prix exhibition event in 2003.
After an unsuccessful try at rally driving, Millen became just the second champion in the short history of the United States’ top drifting series, Formula D, just a year after his good friend, Samuel Hubinette, became the maiden series champ. Millen has two wins in his Formula D career: the 2004 season finale at the Irwindale Speedway, and the 2005 season opener at the Wall Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey. He became the highest placed non-Japanese driver in the US round of the D1GP event in 2005, making it to the last 8 after beating Masato Kawabata, only to lose to Yasuyuki Kazama through a “One More Time” rerun. Millen’s father, Rod, also competes in drifting on occasion. In fact, Rod made his Formula D debut at the 2005 season finale at Irwindale, the same event where his son was crowned the champion.
Millen has driven a Pontiac GTO drift car for three seasons (Winning in 2004 and 2005, but losing out to Hubinette in 2006) and a Pontiac Solstice for the 2007 D1 Season. For the 2009 season, he will drive a Hyundai Genesis Coupe. Red Bull has been a major sponsor of Rhys’ drifting efforts, as well as the paint schemes of many of his cars.
Besides racing, Millen is also a stunt driver for films such as The Dukes of Hazzard, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. He also did the driving for the first Hyundai Genesis Coupe commercial. On December 31, 2008, he became the first person to back-flip an off-road truck in the air. He landed off-balance, forcing his vehicle to flip on its side a few times after landing, but then walked away unharmed. On 2009, Hyundai join with Rhys Millen, The Hyundai Genesis Coupe is set to race at the Formula Drift Professional Drifting Championship, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and select Redline Time Attack Series events in 2009. His V6 engine is running with mostly stock internals and its original Hyundai’s 3.8-liter displacement.
On Jul 2009, Hyundai Genesis Coupe and Rhys Millen set world record to take pikes peak time attack title [using Enkei RPF1 Racing Series Wheel].
More pics of Rhys Millen’s Hyundai Genesis here —>