Travis Pastrana loves to go fast and fly high. And during his adventures, he oftentimes manages to set world records. Most recently, the accomplished motorcyclist and car racer climbed the 6288-foot Mt. Washington faster than anyone else with a time of only 6 minutes/20.47 seconds — nearly 22 seconds faster than the record set in 1998.
Oh yeah, and he did it on his first try.
Pastrana undertook the challenge as part of a course evaluation for the “Climb to the Clouds” race that’s scheduled for June 22 through 26, 2011. The race hasn’t been held in 10 years and is making a comeback to celebrate the road’s 150th birthday.
No.199 attempted four runs in his Vermont SportsCar-built 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI during the “Red Bull Speed Chasers” test session. Rain and foul weather conditions — things the unpredictable location is well-known for — cut his three subsequent trials short. He and Irish navigator Marshall Clarke had never driven the road before the day of their record run (it must be said, however, that in true rally racing fashion, they pre-ran the course and scripted detailed notes).
So you haven’t heard of the Mt. Washington Auto Road? Carved in the mountain on 1861, it is the oldest man-made attraction in North America, and one of the first locations ever to host time trial automobile racing. Back in 1904, the winner of the inaugural “Climb to the Clouds” conquered the 7.6-mile curvaceous, tree-lined hellish path in 24 minutes/37 seconds. It is seven years older than the Indianapolis 500 and while Pike’s Peak has been around for some time, Mt. Washington is still its elder by 12 years.
As it is configured today, the Climb to the Clouds offers wide-eyed racers over 100 turns to combat while ascending at an average gradient of 11.6-percent. For an idea of how fast racers travel, Pastrana’s average speed during his record run was 72 mph — not at all stupendous, but considering the deadly drop-offs, sharp rocks, and tight turns, it is quite fast.
We can’t wait to see how he fares next June.
Source: Red Bull