The Mount Washington Hillclimb might not be as internationally well known as Pikes Peak’s ‘Race to the Clouds’, but it’s actually a little older. And just as scary.
Don’t believe us? Watch Travis Pastrana’s record-breaking run at the course, using the carbon fibre-bodied, 850bhp Subaru WRX STI he hurled around Annapolis for Gymkhana 2020. In the end, he reached the finish line of the 7.6-mile road in five minutes and 28.67 seconds, 45 seconds quicker than his closest competitor and 16 seconds faster than the 2017 record set by…Travis Pastrana, as it happens.
The course starts in dense woodland, flanked by trees and huge boulders waiting to shatter carbon fibre in the event of a mistake. Eventually, the scenery opens up, with an absence of crash barriers making the course perilously exposed.
Unlike Pikes Peak, which was fully paved 10 years ago, Mount Washington has a short gravel section. Once it’s dispatched and the asphalt returns, the Subaru‘s speeds increase, and the drops get even more buttock-clenchingly scary.
It seem Pastrana is already keen to have another go. He said:
“This car is the perfect machine to do it. Coming off a second-place finish at Goodwood [Festival of Speed] 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!”