I’ve driven the long road up Mt. Washington in Pinkham Notch, NH. It’s not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure. The twists and turns along the road on the way to the top of the 6,288-ft. summit leave you perilously close to the edge at times.
Traversing this 7.6-mi. route over a road that alternates between serpentine tarmac and gravel is impressive enough. Doing it in just 8:02 is unbelievable. But that’s exactly what stunt driver Mike Ryan accomplished recently.
Ryan made the trek look easy, reaching a top speed of 94 mph, a speed that I could never image reaching on the picturesque road. Ryan, though, didn’t accomplish this in a Honda Accord or a Ford Mustang. No, Ryan established a new record during the Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb driving a Freightliner Cascadia.
Yes, that’s right; Ryan climbed Mt. Washington in just over 8 minutes driving a fully equipped Freightliner Cascadia Class 8 truck, reaching speeds of 94 mph.
“The Climb to the Clouds race was a new challenge for me and the crew, and the Cascadia handled the twists and turns beautifully,” said Ryan. “The Cascadia’s steering system, control and responsiveness is amazing.”
Ryan’s truck, which he races all around the world, includes an enhanced aerodynamic package and a lighter-weight composite body, and was specifically designed to tackle hill climb races, Freightliner said. The Cascadia features superior aerodynamics, lightweight components, easy-to-maneuver specs, including a 50-deg. wheel cut, and exceptional visibility.
“I work closely with Freightliner’s engineers to continually improve my truck, and am proud to represent the company during my competitions,” said Ryan. “There’s nothing like hearing the roar of the crowd cheering you on, and because of Freightliner Trucks and the Cascadia, it’s always a fun, exciting experience.”
Ryan transports his truck with a custom Freightliner Business Class M2 106 installed with a heavyweight Jerr-Dan 10 ton BIC carrier tow body.
“Freightliner’s trucks don’t just help me win races, they get me there on time, every time,” said Ryan. “The combination of the reliable and strong Freightliner Business Class M2 106 with the tough Jerr-Dan carrier is ideal for navigating all of the different terrains we travel to the event sites.”
Ryan holds six Class 8 records in the Pike Peak International Hill Climb and two at the Queenstown Gold Rush Hill Climb in New Zealand.