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2010-09-10 11:55:22.000 – Cara Rudio,  Marketing and Communications Coordinator

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Remember on Wednesday when Steve mentioned that the Auto Road was closed? We weren’t at liberty to divulge at the time, but can now happily share the news: In preparation for the return of their popular ‘Climb to the Clouds’ auto race next year, the Mt. Washington Auto Road was hosting a visit from famous rally car driver Travis Pastrana. After just two test drives up the 7.6-mile road, which has an average grade of 11.6 percent, Pastrana set a jaw-dropping new course record of 6 minutes, 20.47 seconds!

If you’ve ever driven the Auto Road, you understand just how impressive this new record is. Considering the irregular road surface, 100 some-odd turns and not to mention those several hundred-foot drop-offs, most people hold it below 40 mph. Pastrana’s average speed was 72 mph.

And did we mention the weather? It wasn’t exactly a bluebird day on Wednesday. Thick cloud cover obscured the sun, and fog engulfed the upper portion of the peak. In fact, visibility was so low that Pastrana’s second and third attempts were abandoned – his first ascent was his only complete run. I can’t help but wonder how much time he could shave off after a few more attempts and better visibility at the top.

Lucky for me and adrenaline junkies everywhere, Pastrana and other drivers will get that chance. After a 10-year hiatus, the famous ‘Climb to the Clouds’ auto race will return in 2011 – and this time we’ll get to watch. (The Auto Road kept Wednesday’s stunt so hush-hush that even I didn’t know about it until yesterday!)

Visit the Auto Road’s website for the official press release on Pastrana’s record, and stay tuned for more info about next year’s race!

 

Cara Rudio,  Marketing and Communications Coordinator

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