LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- Swiss driver Ralph Pischler's record-shattering sub-minute mile Sunday propelled him past countryman Erich Schaerer to capture the two-man Bobsled World Championships.
Pischler and brakeman Urs Leuthold set a new track record with a four-heat combined time of 4:01.42, leaving reigning world champion and Olympic gold medalist Schaerer in second place in 4:02.73.
Schaerer, whose silver medal is his 18th medal in world competition, and brakeman Max Ruegg set a new track record of 4.79 seconds for the 50-meter push at the start of the mile-long run. Schaerer set the old record of 4.85 in the 1980 Olympics.
'Perfect' is how Pischler, a 28-year-old plastics salesman from Zurich, described his record-breaking run of :59.75 in the first heat of Saturday's competition.
His second heat time Saturday was 1:00.64, and his third and fourth heats Sunday of 1:00.32 and 1:00.71 each bested the field of 42 competitors in the 11-nation race. His victory marked the first time Schaerer has been defeated in a two-man race at Lake Placid.
East Germans Wolfgang Hoppe and Dietmar Schauerhammer were third in 4:04.31.
The top American finish was recorded by Robert Hickey of Keene, N.Y., and Richard Bisso of Plattsburgh, N.Y., in 10th place in 4:06.25. Their heats Sunday were 1:01.34 and 1:01.73.
American driver Brent Rushlaw and brakeman Jim Tyler, both of Saranac Lake, N.Y., were 11th in 4:06.46. Their heats Sunday were 1:01.66 and 1:01.75.
The father of Canadian driver Jim Carr, 25, of Ottawa, said the driver suffered a fractured sixth vertebra when his sled slipped in the first heat Saturday.
Carr is in Lake Placid Memorial Hospital and may be transported to Ottawa General Hospital, Stanley Carr said.
Carr and brakeman Clarke Flynn, 23, also of Ottawa, who suffered a slight concussion in the accident, are both out for the season.
The bobsledders will practice this week for the four-man world championships scheduled for Lake Placid Feb. 26-27.