Bangor Team Places Third in Mount Washington Climb to the Clouds 2014

Episode 10

June 30, 2014

I apologize for the late post. My goal is to have a new post every Monday morning. I covered the Climb to the Clouds at Mt. Washington yesterday (Sunday) and was too tired to put coherent sentences together.

Bangor Team Places Third in Class at Mount Washington Hillclimb

Bangor-based Last Ditch Racing Team Subaru driven by John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell begin their race to the top of Mount Washington in Sunday's Climb to the Clouds 2014. The team placed third in the Rally Open Class.

Bangor-based Last Ditch Racing Team Subaru driven by John Cassidy and co-driver Dave Getchell begin their race to the top of Mount Washington in Sunday’s Climb to the Clouds 2014. The team placed third in the Rally Open Class.


Last Ditch Racing (LDR) based out of Bangor and owned by John Cassidy placed third overall in the Open class at the “2014 Climb to the Clouds” . The Rally America sanctioned event featured six stages to determine the results. After round four the team of Cassidy and Co-driver Dave Getchell of Camden were third with a 25 + second lead.
That lead evaporated on Sunday morning’s full course run to the top of the mountain when boost problems prevented the freshened engine from reaching full power. The LDR Subaru went into the final run Sunday afternoon down by over a second and a half.
The team changed their electronic control device to allow the engine to develop at least all of the boost it had on previous runs since the makeshift device did not accomplish what they had wanted.

Between runs at the Climb to the Clouds 2014 the Last Ditch Racing Team has only 45 minutes to make any and all repairs and adjustments for their final and decisive race to the top. Team members finished with three minutes to spare.

Between runs at the Climb to the Clouds 2014 the Last Ditch Racing Team has only 45 minutes to make any and all repairs and adjustments for their final and decisive race to the top. Team members finished with three minutes to spare.


The members of the team at the mountain were Duncan Matlack, Jon Bolduc, and Elliot Matlack. The team bested their 2011 mark with a 7:44:85 time up the 7.6 mile course.
Subaru team driver David Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew set a new course record of 6:09:09 besting his 2011 time of 6:11:54.

The winning car #75 of David Higgins in the foreground and Travis Pastrana's #199 Subaru are serviced by Vermont Sports Cars mechanics and technicians for their final run to the top. It was like a well rehearsed show where every team member knew what to do and when to do it in the 45 minute prep time.

The winning car #75 of David Higgins in the foreground and Travis Pastrana’s #199 Subaru are serviced by Vermont Sports Cars mechanics and technicians for their final run to the top. It was like a well rehearsed show where every team member knew what to do and when to do it in the 45 minute prep time.


Vermont Sports Car team-mate Travis Pastrana and co-driver Chrissie Beavis finished with a time of 6:12:29 trailing by only three seconds placing them second overall.

The Sacramento, Pennsylvania based Entopy Racing Electric Racecar driven by Tim O'Neil set the new standard for future electric powered cars racing up the hill at Mount Washington 7:28:92.

The Sacramento, Pennsylvania based Entopy Racing Electric Racecar driven by Tim O’Neil set the new standard for future electric powered cars racing up the hill at Mount Washington 7:28:92.


I interviewed Tim O’Neil, former rally driver and current owner of Tim O’Neil’s Rally School in Dalton, New Hampshire. He drove the first electric car in the 110 year history of the race to the top in 7:28:92 setting the standard for future electric car efforts. His battery powered EVSR was entered by Entropy Racing based in Sacramento, Pennsylvania. The electric racecar, developed in only three months, was based upon the Sports Car Club of America’s CSR class.
O’Neil was asked about the lack of engine sound and transmission used by most racers to determine their speed and progress on the course and how the lack of both affects his race. “I’ve never driven the Space Shuttle or Star Wars equipment but I think it is similar where you have no reference of speed. Normally as humans we are listening to engine noise, gear noise, and tire noise.”
“That transmits into the body and when we come into a corner we might notice what gear we are in. All that confirms speed before you enter a corner. You do not worry about any of that stuff (with an electric racecar) because it isn’t going to work.”
“I cannot explain how the human body does it but it is working. You have got to be very, very accurate on how much speed you can carry through that corner.”
O’Neil placed 24th overall and recorded his best time on the final run Sunday afternoon.
By comparison, the second place racer at the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado was the electric Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III driven by Greg Tracy of Long Beach, California with a time of 9:08:18. The third place overall car was also an electric Mitsubishi driven by Tracy’s team-mate Hiroshi Masuoka of Saltama, Japan with a time of 9:12:24.
The winner of the event, Romain Dumas of Bale, Switzerland drove a gasoline powered racer, a Norma M20RD to a winning time of 9:05:81 nearly a minute slower than last year’s record time of 8:13:88 set by Sebastien Loeb in a Peugeot.
Will this mean we will see more electric racers at Mount Washington in the future? I suspect so. I think they will be purpose built to go fast on mountain roadways not converted road race vehicles. My congratulations to the Entropy Racing Team and driver Tim O’Neil.

Foust Wins at World Rallycross Championship Round 4

I am not sure if you have had a chance to view the Top Gear USA episode filmed at Spud Speedway and Loring Commerce Center this winter. If not I am sure you can find it on the internet. One of the show hosts, Tanner Foust, drives in the Global Rallycross Series and the World Rallycross Series for Volkswagen.
This past weekend he won the World Rallycross event #4 at Kouvola, Finland in his VW Polo. I like to think his driving on the snow of Northern Maine helped him maneuver his way to the win on a rain drenched course in Finland.

Fourth Of July Motorsports Events in Northern Maine

Spud Speedway will host a full card of racing on Thursday evening July 3rd at 6 pm for racing karts and stock cars to follow. Relatively large crowds have been enjoying races at the Caribou track with only one repeat winner from week one, Bobby Anderson of Limestone in Street Stock. The evening races will be followed by a huge fireworks show.
Tractor pulling fans will be able to take in the Washburn Rotary Club event at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds on July 5th followed by the Houlton Fair Tractor Pulls on July 6th.
Spud Speedway’s 50th Celebration continues next week as their four day Motorsports Fair takes place on July 10-13. Smokey’s Greatest Shows and Lazer Tag will be featured outside the track each evening with racing action on the track nightly including a huge Bomber Car race Thursday the 10th, six truck monster truck show and tough truck competition on Friday, a 100 lap Outlaw Sportsman race on Saturday, and a Car Show on Sunday the 13th honoring the Ford Mustang which also celebrates 50 years of production.
Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame 2014 Inductees Chink Maynard of Presque Isle and Bobby Alexander formerly from Mars Hill now residing in Ellsworth will be honored by the local track fans.

Let’s Go Racing!

Tom Hale
Soli Deo Gloria

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

For the past 14 years, Tom has written freelance for the Bangor Daily sports covering motorsports in Maine.