One of the drivers’ favorite cars up the Mt. Washington Hill Climb this year was Mikko Kataja’s 4AGE Toyota Starlet shipped over from Finland wailing up the hill at 11,000 RPM. We had no idea how the narrow, frost-heaved road didn’t buck him straight off the mountain. Watching the onboard now, you can see it nearly did.
I talked to Mikko right after this run at the top of the hill, the day after my driver and I had bit of a moment ourselves. He looked relaxed, but he sounded quite worried, particularly about how he clipped something sliding wide on the tightest corner of the course’s still-unpaved dirt section. He said he took it easy after that.
So it’s amazing that he still collected a class win, with a seriously amazing sub-seven minute run.
Here’s how Mikko explained his run in his video description, a very calm way of putting it:
Mt Washington Climb to the Clouds - 1st race run, 6:58.98 - Not a perfect run, but still made it to the 6 minute club with prepared 3 class win and 10th overall, car would have more it was up to the driver again.. What a great race, absolutely loved the course it is for sure one of the most extreme hillclimb roads around the world. Thanks everybody especially my wife Kati (btw, we had our 10th wedding anniversary on Friday 7/7/7 so we need to celebrate that one later) and my father Kari and mother Merja was great to have you all there and all the fans and sponsors for the support. Rev it to the sky and keep on climbing!!!
Watch the whole thing and try to count just how many times his short-wheelbase car running slicks is pointing right off the road and towards a tree, a boulder, or a cliff.