Subaru Rally Team USA Driver David Higgins Sets Mt. Washington Hill Climb Record
Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins broke the long standing Mt. Washington “Climb To The Clouds” Hill Climb record set in 1998.
Piloting his 2011 Subaru WRX STI rally car, Higgins crushed the time set by Frank Sprongl by more than 30-seconds with an official time of 6 minutes and 11.54 seconds. Higgins also beat the unofficial record time set by Travis Pastrana last year of 6:20.47.
True to its reputation, the mountain yielded poor weather throughout the practice days on Friday and Saturday. The field of almost 70 competitors, in the four race classes, was kept to the lower half of the course because of intermittent rain showers and fog. The weather cooperated long enough on Sunday for competitors to get in two timed laps before the course was again engulfed in fog.
“It was a very big challenge because the road was still wet in spots and would turn very slick suddenly. With the clouds the visibility was so low I could hardly see past the hood of my car,” explained Higgins. “Our Subaru is setup perfectly for a road like this but I have never raced here before and it was a lot of work to try to learn the course. It’s fantastic to have the record at such a prestigious event.”
Higgins was the last to race in the field of the competitors, which built up anticipation of a new record amongst the fans and enthusiasts in attendance. On his first attempt Higgins was able to surpass the record by more than 20 seconds. Higgins bested his record by an additional eight seconds on his second attempt, cementing his place in the record books.
Mt. Washington is located in the Presidential range of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, known for its extreme conditions, scientists have been researching and studying weather trends since the 1870′s. The carriage road, now the Mount Washington Auto Road, was erected in 1861 and is the country’s oldest man-made attraction. Spanning a distance of 7.6 miles, the mixed gravel and pavement road winds its way up the mountain lined with trees and at times steep drop-offs. First run in 1904, the race to the 6,288 ft. summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak is one of the greatest motorsports challenges for both man and machine.
Subaru Rally Team USA heads to Maine for the New England Rally, July 15th and 16th. Higgins, the points leader for the Rally America Champion looks to clinch the title of which he has dominated for the past 3 rallies. The team will then head to Summer X Games 17 at the end of July to compete in the Global Rallycross finals.
Subaru of America proudly sponsors the on-going scientific research of the Mt. Washington Observatory. As the “official car” of Mt. Washington Observatory, Subaru sponsors programs, like the “Subaru Science In The Mountains” series that educate consumers. For the adventurous, Subaru also sponsors the annual “Seek-The-Peak” mountain climb.