Pastrana breaks his record at Mt. Washington Hillclimb


by Jody Houle
Contributing Writer - Berlin Reporter

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Travis Pastrana beat the standing record, and then his own record, winning the "Climb to the Clouds" race during the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb event that was held on July 9. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
July 17, 2017
GREEN'S GRANT – More than 70 racers partook in the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb, aka the "Climb to the Clouds," on July 9, peeling rubber, spinning tires, kicking up dirt and fishtailing up to the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Travis Pastrana, a veteran of the event, crossed the finish line in the fastest time, breaking his own record.

The Red Bull sponsored event brought hundreds of spectators and race enthusiasts. Many came to witness the rivalry of Pastrana and David Higgins – Pastrana was the 2010 winner and Higgins won in 2011 and 2014. The two faced off once again along with about 75 other drivers from all over the world including 16 from New Hampshire.

The narrow, steep and bumpy terrain of the mountain makes for a difficult race up 7.6 miles.

Pastrana, of Annapolis, Md., reached the top in 5:46:28 and broke his own record in his second run, finishing at 5:44:72, the new standing record. He drove his 2017 Subaru Impreza WRX STI – the same model he raced with in 2010 when he won and broke the unofficial record with a time of 6:20:47.

In 2011, Higgins beat the record at 6:11:54 and in 2014, the last time the event took place, he broke his record, winning the event with a time of 6:09:09.

After a brief hiatus, the event returned this year, and on Sunday, July 9, Pastrana was ready to take on Higgins and earn "King of the Hill" honors, and he did just that. During his first run, Higgins reached a 116-mph speed record but, shortly after, hit a rock, which tore off his left rear wheel and caused the car to drop 50 feet over the edge of the mountain. Higgins was uninjured, but his car was too damaged to compete in his second run. He gave Pastrana the "go" signal.

At one point, Pastrana's front, right wheel was over the edge, but he maintained control and fishtailed up to the finish line.

Pastrana is an X Games icon and a rally champion.

The first "Climb to the Clouds" event on the mountain was held in 1904 and is considered the oldest motorsports event in the country.

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