Imagine driving leisurely through the mountains of New Hampshire on a 7.6-mile, tree-lined road made of mixed gravel and pavement and punctuated with random drop-offs. Now, imagine racing up the same mountain road, sliding around corners and hugging cliffs, faster than anyone else in the 107-year history of Mt. Washington’s Climb to the Clouds.
On Sunday, June 26, 2011, Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins needed only six minutes and 11.54 seconds to finish the famed Mt. Washington Hillclimb — nearly 30 seconds faster than Frank Sprongl’s previous record from 1998. Higgins also beat the unofficial record of 6:20.47 set by Travis Pastrana last year. Higgins did it sans co-driver in his Vermont SportsCar-prepped Subaru WRX STi rally car equipped with BFGoodrich RC01 Rally tires.
First run in 1904, Mt. Washington’s Climb to the Clouds races to the 6,288-foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak and is one of the greatest motorsports challenges for both man and machine. Higgins was the last competitor to race, which thrilled the fans and enthusiasts attending in anticipation of a new course record. On his first attempt, Higgins surpassed the record by more than 20 seconds. On his second attempt, Higgins bested his record by an additional eight seconds, securing his place in the record books.
Below is a link to a video that captured Higgins’ record-breaking run, featuring action shots from inside and outside of the car, as well as commentary from the man himself.