Williston, Vermont – Officials with Rally America, Inc., the premier sanctioning body for stage rally competition in North America, announced today that their very popular National Championship Contingency Program awarded nearly $110,000 in cash and product prizes from Subaru of America, Ford Racing, Recaro USA, Hawk Performance Brakes, GrimmSpeed, Exedy Racing Clutches and DMack Tyres USA to both Regional and National competitors throughout the 2012 Rally America National Championship season which ran from January through September and included six events across the country from Washington state to Maine.

The 2012 Rally America National Championship season kicked off in late January on the ice and snow-covered roads of the Sno*Drift Rally in Atlanta and Lewiston, Michigan and was followed a month later by the Rally in the 100 Acre Wood in Salem, Missouri in late February. After a 2-month hiatus, teams from across the United States, Canada and Australia made their way to the always-popular Oregon Trail Rally in May which was based in Portland and Dufur, Oregon before heading East across the country for the fast roads of the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania in early June. The always challenging New England Forest Rally took place in mid-July in the forests surrounding Newry, Maine and Errol, New Hampshire while the 6-event National Championship concluded in late September with the legendary Olympus Rally which was based in Olympia and Shelton, Washington.

Imagine driving leisurely through the mountains of New Hampshire on a 7.6-mile, tree-lined road made of mixed gravel and pavement and punctuated with random drop-offs. Now, imagine racing up the same mountain road, sliding around corners and hugging cliffs, faster than anyone else in the 107-year history of Mt. Washington’s Climb to the Clouds.

On Sunday, June 26, 2011,  Subaru Rally Team USA driver David Higgins needed only six minutes and 11.54 seconds to finish the famed Mt. Washington Hillclimb — nearly 30 seconds faster than Frank Sprongl’s previous record from 1998.  Higgins also beat the unofficial record of 6:20.47 set by Travis Pastrana last year.  Higgins did it sans co-driver in his Vermont SportsCar-prepped Subaru WRX STi rally car equipped with BFGoodrich RC01 Rally tires.

Below is a link to a video that captured Higgins’ record-breaking run, featuring action shots from inside and outside of the car, as well as commentary from the man himself.