Higgins, Drew Set Climb To The Clouds Mark
GORHAM, N.H. – Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins and Craig Drew won their third consecutive Rally America National Championship at the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb, Climb to the Clouds June 29, and set a new record in the process.
Their resounding victory added a larger buffer to their overall points standings lead at the midpoint of the Rally America National Championship season, and against their main rival and teammates Travis Pastrana and Chrissie Beavis.
Higgins and Drew drove a flawless Hillclimb to take the lead after the very first stage with Pastrana and Beavis just 2.9 seconds behind. Pastrana stayed in attack mode until a massive Stage 3 tire puncture ripped through the body work of his car to lose nearly 30 seconds. On Stage 5, Pastrana was down on power and lost another minute to Higgins before salvaging a second place finish.
With a single stage left, Higgins found more speed to destroy the record he previously set that morning by at least two seconds with a time of 6:09.09.
“It was a great event and we put in a big effort for those few seconds,” explained Higgins. “There is so much history here and it’s great to be a part of it again for Subaru. This was a big challenge this weekend as we had Pastrana and our old record staring us down. But Craig (Drew) was perfect on the notes and Subaru gave me a car that was perfect.”
The team was uncertain the record would be attainable with a less than ideal hill climb car. But the possibility of breaking the record materialized when the team found that Higgins was a second slower off his 2011 record when combining his best Friday and Saturday stage times from the lower and upper half runs.
Notably, FY Racing’s Adam Yeoman and Jordan Schulze suffered car issues at the start of the rally event that immediately forced the team into service and reenter the next day with time penalties according to Super Rally rules.
The Climb to the Clouds will be a memorable event for Super Production’s Dillon Van Way and Andrew Edwards who took third overall and their very first Super Production Class victory.
Van Way’s victory comes at an important juncture in his battle with class rivals Nick Roberts and Rhianon Gelsomino in the points standings. Not only does Van Way remain second overall in the overall standings, but he also increases his SP points lead by 14 over Roberts.
In the Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) category, Andrew Comrie-Picard and Ole Holter dominated in their Ford Fiesta ST to take their second victory this season.
William Petrow and Ryan Symancek set the fastest 2WD time up the mountain in their 1991 Nissan 240sx with a time of 7:09.95.
The Climb to the Clouds’ only all female team of Erika Detota and Mary Warren finished ninth overall and fourth in the 2WD Class.