Field of Drivers Announced for the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb
Lincoln, NH - Officials with the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire, organizers of the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb planned for July 6-9, 2017 at the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH, announced today that 80 competitors representing 17 states in the United states as well as the countries of Canada, Wales, Australia and Romania will make up the field for this year’s Climb to the Clouds automotive hillclimb taking place on the historic 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road.
“The Sports Car Club of New Hampshire is excited to welcome the most international field of competition drivers ever to this year’s Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb”, stated Howard Roundy, President of the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire and this year’s Event Director.
This year’s impressive driver line-up not only includes a mix of road racers, rally drivers, hillclimb specialists and time attack drivers – all of whom bring many years of experience, skill and countless championships to the Nation’s oldest hillclimb - but will also include a contingent of five vintage race cars representing many years of historic racing on the Mt. Washington Auto Road which started in July 1904.
Included in the list of recently accepted drivers are five highly skilled racers very familiar with the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado Springs, Colorado as well as other western states hillclimb events. These drivers include Todd Cook from Tempe, Arizona; Rodney O’Maley from Colorado Springs, Colorado; Spencer Steele from Denver, Colorado, Dan Novembre from Colorado Springs, Colorado and Rocco Bocchicchio from Glendale, Arizona. Both Cook and Steele will be driving similar versions of the famous Wells Coyote open wheel race cars which were built specifically for racing at Pikes Peak. Dan Novembre will be driving a twin turbo, Nissan powered open wheel race car he calls the Novembre Special, while O’Maley will be piloting his open-wheeled O’Maley Special. Rocco Bocchicchio will be driving a highly modified BMW E30 sedan he raced to an SPO Class record at the 2016 SCCA Clifton Hillclimb in Clifton, Arizona. All five drivers will compete against each other in the Open Class at this year’s Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb.
Returning to this year’s Climb to the Clouds will also be current Mt. Washington Record Holder (6:09.09 set in 2014) and 8-time Rally America Champion, David Higgins, from Wales. Joining Higgins at will be his Subaru Rally Team USA team mate, multi-time Rally America Champion, X Games legend and Nitro Circus creator, Travis Pastrana from Annapolis, Maryland. Both will be driving Vermont SportsCar prepared 2017 Subaru WRX STI’s for Subaru Rally Team USA in the Unlimited Class at Mt. Washington.
When asked recently what winning Mt. Washington would mean to Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana, he stated, “Having the unofficial record up the mountain in 2010 was one of my greatest accomplishments on four wheels. Missing the win by less than 5 seconds and consequently losing the record to David in 2014 was tough to take. With faster cars and better knowledge of the road, I think it will take nothing short of a record run to take the win. Regaining the Mt. Washington Hillclimb record would be huge for me.”
Representing countries outside the United States at Mt. Washington this year, other than David Higgins from Wales, will be Doug Mepham from Ontario, Canada driving a 2006 Mini Cooper S in Class P2; Vincent Sylvain from Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada driving a Subaru Impreza in Class P1; Andrei Mitrasca from Romania driving a 2005 Seat Ibiza in Class P2 and Jeff Denmeade from Sydney, Australia who will pilot a left-hand drive 2004 Mitsubishi Lancer in the hotly-contested Unlimited Class. 2017 will make Denmeade’s 6th appearance at the Climb to the Clouds, while Sylvain Vincent finished 2nd overall in 1996. Doug Mepham also competed at Mt. Washington previously in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
“I’m thrilled with the field of racers we’ve attracted this year with not only a wide selection from throughout the US, but also a truly international representation with drivers from the Wales, Canada, Romania and even Australia” stated Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Set for July 7-9, 2017, the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will serve as a 3-day motorsports festival filled with a variety of motorsports-oriented activities for all ages including a vendor area, historic car displays and autograph sessions topped off by the return of the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb along the winding 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road on Sunday, July 9, 2017.
To reserve lodging for the “Climb to the Clouds”, call the headquarters hotel for the event, the Town and Country Inn & Resort located in Shelburne, NH at (603) 466-3315. For more information regarding the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb including the event’s history, list of record times, spectator tickets to view the race from the base area or along the course or to volunteer, visit www.climbtotheclouds.com.
SUPPORTING CAPTIONS & PHOTOGRAPHS:
Caption: Subaru Rally Team USA’s Travis Pastrana from Annapolis, Maryland will return to the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH July 6-9 as one of the drivers attempting to claim overall “King of the Hill” honors and hopefully set a new course record in the process at the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb.
Caption: The 2017 Subaru WRX STI prepared by Vermont SportsCar and Subaru Rally Team USA that Travis Pastrana will drive at the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb scheduled for July 6-9, 2017.
Caption: Current Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb record holder and 8-time Rally America National Champion David Higgins from the Isle of Man is returning to the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH July 6-9 with Subaru Rally Team USA as one of the talented drivers attempting to claim overall “King of the Hill” honors as well as set a new course record in the process at the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb. Higgins set the current course record of 6:09.09 on the 7.6 mile course at the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb.
Caption: Todd Cook, from Tempe, Arizona, is returning to the Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH after a 6-year hiatus to test his skills once again in the 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb July 6-9. Shown here sliding his Wells Coyote race car around Mt. Washington’s famous Cragway Turn, Cook finished 2nd overall at the event back in 2011 and is hoping to move up a notch to grab “King of the Hill” honors in 2017. Driving a purpose-built Wells Coyote open-wheel hillclimb special, Cook has competed in numerous Pikes Peak International Hillclimb events over the years as well as the Colorado Hillclimb Series and will bring the same car back to Mt. Washington this July.
Caption: The 2017 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb returns to the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road in Gorham, NH July 6-9, 2017. The event first took place in July 1904 making it the oldest automotive hillclimb in North America. Visit www.climbtotheclouds.com for more information.
About the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire
Established in 1955 by a group of longtime sports car enthusiasts from throughout New Hampshire, the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire (SCCNH) is a 501C7 non-profit organization open to anyone interested in automobiles or automobile-related activities – whether they are a New Hampshire resident or not. Today the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire is proud to host a membership of more than 225 active motorsports enthusiasts from across New England with a variety of vehicles and varied interests in the sport. For more information, visit www.sccnh.org.
About Subaru of America
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.
“Subaru”, “WRX STI”, all model names, and the Subaru logo are registered trademarks of the Subaru subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd, Japan. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.
About the Mt. Washington Auto Road
The Washington Auto Road is considered by many hillcimb racers to be extremely technical with a narrow road surface that averages just over 20 feet wide. In addition to being very narrow with steep drop-offs that vary from side to side, the road is also incredibly steep, with an average 12% grade and gaining slightly more than 4,600 feet in total elevation change from the starting line to the finish line. The surface of the 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road is mostly tarmac with approximately one mile of gravel and contains well over 150 turns and switchbacks as the road winds its’ way to the 6,288 foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak.
First opened in 1861 as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is the country’s oldest manmade attraction. Located on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, just north of the Mt. Washington Valley and minutes south of Gorham, the Auto Road has a long and winding history, much like its 7.6 mile trip up to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast. For more information, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com.