PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. — The record time set by Canadian rally driver Frank Sprongl of 6 minutes and 41.99 seconds set in 1998 was eclipsed by David Higgins of the Isle of Man at Mount Washington’s Climb to the Clouds auto race Sunday.
Higgins, driving a Vermont Sports Car prepared 2011 Subaru WRX, ran the 7.6-mile course in 6 minutes and 11.54 seconds. A record crowd viewed the event.
Terry Cook of Tempe, Ariz., driving an Open class purpose-built Wells Coyote, ran the second fastest time of 6:39.86 seconds.
Paul Tingaud of Burlington, Vt., placed third in his home-built car, built with Audi components, despite suffering a slipping clutch in run number one. His racer dubbed the “Super Chicken” ran 6:53.35 in his successful second run.
Kim Eastman of Standish, driving a 1953 Curtis 500 S vintage racer, ran the quickest time in class turning a time of 8:22.74.
Bangor’s John Cassidy and co-driver Jennifer Daly of Kelowna, British Columbia, drove their Subaru Imprezza to second in the R1 All Wheel Drive class and 17th overall with a time of 7:40.19, only 13 seconds off the winning pace of Robert Martai of New Jersey.
Bethel’s Chris Duplessis and fiance/co-driver Sarah Trask of Hampden finished first in the R2 Two Wheel Drive division and 13th overall in their specially prepared Ford Fiesta. Their time was 7:31.09.
“Congratulations to the competitors. I would never of thought that we would have two runs all the way to the top and get all the competition cars to the top without a red flag,” chief steward John Buffum of Colchester, Vt., said. “ It was cool that the record for fastest time was broken. It has been ten years, the cars are better developed and the road is better.”
The Climb to the Clouds race returned this year after a 10-year hiatus. It was held to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Mount Washington Auto Road.
The even was first run in 1904, seven years before the first Indy 500 and 12 years prior to the first Pikes Peak Hillclimb.