After a three-year hiatus, The Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb returns July 6-9, 2017 as one of the most challenging motorsport events in North America. Current ‘King of the Hill’ and factory Subaru driver David Higgins will return to defend his crown, with fellow teammate and Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana, also a Mt. Washington Hillclimb expert.
“The team is very excited and optimistic about our return to Mt. Washington,” stated Subaru Motorsports Marketing Manager Rob Weir. “Both Higgins and Pastrana are highly skilled at this event and are preparing to defend the WRX STI’s claim as King of the Hill.”
First run in 1904, the Mt. Washington ‘Climb to the Clouds’ Hillclimb was born as part of the famous Glidden Tour several months prior to the first-ever Vanderbuilt Cup on Long Island, seven years before the first 500-mile race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis, Indiana and twelve years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The mile “Climb to the Clouds” is without question one of the ultimate proving grounds for both drivers and automobiles alike. The serpentine tarmac and gravel Mt. Washington Auto Road is lined with trees, rocks and dramatic drop-offs as it winds its way to the 6,288 ft. summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak.
In 2014, David Higgins broke his previous 2011 record at Mt. Washington with a time of 6:09.09 on the 7.4 mile course in a 2014 WRX STI VT14r rally car prepared by team technical partner Vermont SportsCar. Compared to Higgins’ 2011 record-setting run, his 2014 record setting rally car was 500 lbs. heavier and produced 100 less horsepower due to different class specifications. With the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire loosening car class rules to allow for faster cars, the 2017 event has the potential to be the fastest and most hotly-contested run of the mountain in its storied history.
“Mt. Washington remains one of the greatest challenges in motorsport, it certainly is a very demanding road and it’s an accomplishment just to reach the top!”, said Higgins. “I am confident that Subaru will provide Travis and myself the ultimate weapon for the hill and I’m really looking forward to the event, it’s certainly going to be a big part of my season getting ready for it.”
Subaru Rally Team USA driver Travis Pastrana, who set an unofficial record on Mt. Washington in 2010, is also keen to return to the climb after finishing just seconds behind teammate David Higgins in 2014.
The Mt. Washington Hillclimb is probably the most intense road I’ve ever driven,” said Travis Pastrana. “It was an honor to get a chance to race there and I’m glad we will have another chance this year. David (Higgins) beat me by just a few seconds last time, so I’m looking forward to a rematch. This year we are returning with faster cars and more knowledge of the road. It’s going to be an epic run!”
For more information regarding the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb regarding competitors, spectators and volunteers, visit www.climbtotheclouds.com.
Watch Higgins’ Mt. Washington record setting run from 2014 here.
Full coverage of Subaru Rally Team USA is available on the Subaru Motorsports App. To download from the iTunes App store, click here, for Android App on Google Play store, click here. Follow the team on Instagram @srtusa and Twitter @srtusa.
See Higgins’ 2014 record run of Mt. Washington.