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Subaru Driver Travis Pastrana Smashes Mt. Washington Hillclimb Record [VIDEO]


Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana has smashed the Mt. Washington Hill Climb record, winning the event at the wheel of his specially prepared 600hp Subaru WRX STI rally car. Pastrana sped to the summit of the sinuous 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road in an amazing 5 minutes 44.72 seconds, just under 25 seconds faster than his teammate David Higgins’ previous record which was set in 2014.  Higgins’ own attempt at lowering the record came to a startling halt when he slid wide five miles into his ascent and pirouetted his car off the edge of the mountain. Higgins was unharmed in the incident but could not continue.

“I can’t say enough how fun these cars are to drive, and thank Subaru for providing one to me. I hope this record can stand for a little while,” explained Pastrana. “On our first run I leaned on the tires too much on the bottom half, which made the top half very loose and scary but really fun, we were sideways a lot but I’m sure we lost some time.  On our second run I was able to conserve the tires and drove cleaner, I really didn’t expect to drop the record further.   This road is such a challenge, it’s probably the toughest road to drive flat-out in the world.”

The Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb, first run in 1904, is one of America’s oldest motorsports events.  The 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road is one of the ultimate challenges for driver and automobile, the serpentine tarmac and gravel road is lined with trees and dramatic drop-offs as it winds its way to the 6,288 foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak.  Subaru driver David Higgins broke the course record in 2011 and again in 2014.  For the 2017 edition of the event Subaru Rally Team USA entered two identical Vermont SportsCar-prepared Subaru WRX STI rally cars in top tier Unlimited Class.  The cars featured over 600hp 4-cylinder turbocharged Subaru BOXER engines and a significantly lightened chassis, but unlike in 2014 where Higgins and Pastrana ran in the Rally class, no co-drivers are permitted.

David Higgins was expected to challenge Pastrana, with the duo separated by just seconds in the early practice sessions on the road’s top and bottom sections.  Higgins first run on Sunday ended abruptly after he entered the famous gravel turn at Cragway Springs at too high a speed and went off the road after clipping a rock.  Higgins’ Subaru rally car landed on its wheels and came to a halt not far from the edge of the road, with Higgins emerging unscathed but disappointed.

“It was going really well up until it went really bad,” explained Higgins. “It’s one of those events that you put so much work into one small run, so the disappointment is massive. If you are going fast enough to win the event you are going fast enough to crash.  But there is no better person to lose my record to than Travis. I’m really happy for him and the job the team has done.”

Full coverage of Subaru Rally Team USA is available on the Subaru Motorsports App. To download from the iTunes App store, click here, for Android App on Google Play store, click here. Follow the team on Instagram @srtusa, on Twitter @srtusa, and on facebook @Subaru Rally Team USA.

Quotes:

David Higgins

“It was going really well up until it went really bad,” explained Higgins. “It’s one of those events that you put so much work into one small run, so the disappointment is massive. If you are going fast enough to win the event you are going fast enough to crash.  But really there is no better person to lose my record to than Travis. I’m really happy for him and the job the team has done.”

About the accident: “There is a section leading into the Cragway gravel turn that I wasn’t sure about, hadn’t had it perfected and memorized it.  There are a sequence of crests and short corners and I didn’t feel really good about it in practice, I actually walked the section after practice to get a visual on where I needed to slow down. But today I just didn’t get it right. I thought I had bit more road to go before the big turn and so just entered too fast and pitched it sideways to slowdown but clipped a rock on the outside. Game over.  Its one of those events that you put so much work into one small run, so the disappointment is massive. If you are going fast enough to win the event you are going fast enough to crash.

Travis Pastrana

“I can’t say enough how fun these cars are to drive, and thank Subaru for providing one to me. I hope this record can stand for a little while,” explained Pastrana. “On our first run we I leaned on the tires too much on the bottom half, which made the top half very loose and scary but really fun, we were sideways a lot but I’m sure we lost some time.  On our second run I was able to conserve the tires and drove cleaner, I really didn’t expect to drop the record further.   This road is such a challenge, it’s probably the toughest road to drive flat-out in the world.”

“It was scary, we lined up take off on our first run but they held us from going and we hear David had gone off the road.  Part of you says that these cars are so phenomenal that you could get the record without going 10/10ths but then another part of you says ‘no I want this record and to have it last as long as possible and I need to just go for it.’ Knowing David was out meant there was less pressure and I could enjoy driving the car but I still really went for it.

Comments

One comment on “Subaru Driver Travis Pastrana Smashes Mt. Washington Hillclimb Record [VIDEO]
  1. Barry says:

    single seat good Travis will only hurt himself

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