The oldest and one of the most challenging hillclimbs in North America, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb, held its 2021 event Sunday, August 15, when Subaru Motorsports USA driver Travis Pastrana set a record climbing the mountain in 5 minutes, 28.67 seconds.
Pastrana not only set the record but outdrove his winning record from the previous Mt. Washington Hillclimb by 16 seconds.
“New record in the books!” Pastrana exclaimed after his winning run. “This car is the perfect machine to do it. Coming off a second-place finish at Goodwood, 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!”
So, how did Pastrana cut 16 seconds off his time to win the treacherous 7.6-mile and 12 percent grade stretch up the Mt. Washington Auto Road? He took on the East Coat’s tallest mountain behind the wheel of an 862-horsepower Gymkhana 2020 Subaru WRX STI.
“The highly developed aero package on the Airslayer STI provided a significant downforce advantage against the 600-horsepower WRX STI rally car used by Pastrana to set the 2017 mark,” Subaru says in its press release announcing the win. “Along with a significant power bump, major suspension advancements and an ultra-light curb weight, the Airslayer was tailor-made for the wide-open mentality of hillclimbs.
“Still, the level of commitment displayed by Pastrana on the record run meant huge entertainment for the thousands of fans who lined the road at the spectator points along the roadway.”
To celebrate the win, Pastrana finished the course with a Gymakhana-style smoky donut at the bottom of the mountain.