Driver’s View of World Record Race to the Top of Mt. Washington Is Absolutely Crazy
You may have driven your car up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in your lifetime, but you've never done it in less than six minutes and reached speeds of over 120 mph.
Mt. Washington Hillclimb also known as "The Climb to the Clouds" was first run in the summer of 1904 when a Mercedes had the fastest time up the 7.4-miles of the auto road in 24 minutes, 37 seconds. Since then the race was run about every three years until 1961, brought back in 1990 and again in 2011.
80 drivers from all over the world come to the White Mountains to tackle one of the toughest road courses in the world. They make two runs up the mountain, racing for the fastest time, leaving at the base in one-minute intervals. Speeds reached are unlike anything you'd ever want to drive on the auto road with its sharp turns and lack of guardrails in places.
On August 15, 37-year-old NASCAR and stunt driver Travis Pastrana, set a new record for the fastest time up the mountain at 5 minutes 28.67 seconds beating the previous record by 16 seconds.
His car was equipped with multiple cameras showing him, a view through the windshield and the view from the front and rear bumpers showing a close shot near the pavement that really demonstrates just how fast he was traveling. A screen near the stick shift shows his speed which at one point briefly reached 123 mph. Watching this video is like being on a rollercoaster at a breakneck speed not know where the next turn will be.
If you'd like to take your car up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, you can travel the course too. Just keep it around 15 mph.