While the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb gets plenty of attention annually, there’s another event that’s just as challenging called the Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race, which is held in New Hampshire. Traditionally held every three years, the “Climb to the Clouds” is the oldest hill climb in North America and is famous for its unpredictable weather and mixed-surface road.
Tackling the 12.2-km (7.6-mile) road course, which has an average grade of around 12%, is certainly no easy feat, and with each run, drivers would have climbed from the starting altitude of 489 metres (1,604 feet) at Glen House to 1,908 metres (6,260 feet) at the summit.
Back in 2017, Travis Pastrana set a record of five minutes and 44.72 seconds on the course, which beat the then previous record by 24 seconds. This year, on August 16, he managed to beat his own record by 16.05 seconds with a time of five minutes 28.67 seconds.
The car used in the record attempt is none other than the Subaru “Airslayer” WRX STI, which Pastrana drove in Gymkhana 2020. The tricked-out Subie, if you can recall, packs 862 hp and 900 Nm of torque, along with a whole host of suspension and aero modifications.
“New record in the books!” said Pastrana after his winning run. “This car is the perfect machine to do it. Coming off a second-place finish at Goodwood, I really wanted to set a new record here to show what the car could do in the right environment. Luckily, we really had good weather this year and I knew if I could get a clean run in, I’d have a great shot at the 5:44 time. So much fun and I can’t wait to do it again next time!” he added.
While the record is certainly incredible, the onboard video is even more exciting, as we get to see Pastrana’s “Airslayer” WRX STI go on full attack, with the scenery changing in mere minutes. During the run, we also get to see the road surface change from grippy tarmac to loosey-goosey gravel, which doesn’t seem to deter Pastrana, despite the sheer drop-off just a few feet from him.
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