Former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins sets a new road-car lap record for the Isle of Man TT using a standard Subaru WRX STI.
21 years after Tony Pond claimed the record for the TT road course with his Rover 827 Vitesse, Subaru WRX raises the bar by being over two minutes faster. The Japanese saloon car lapped the 37.8-mile course in 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds and average speed of 113 mph. The peak speed achieved during the lap was 162mph. Here’s a video of the lap courtesy of Road&Track, including an amazing 150 mph save:
“Setting the record was both the most exhilarating and the most frightening thing I have ever done,” explains Higgins, whose career as a driver in the British and World Rally Championships hasn’t exactly been short of excitement. “The rules allow for a flying start, so I crossed the line at 125mph. I then went down through the Bray Hill junction – normally taken at around 20mph – at over 150mph. Once that tricky section was out of the way I settled into the lap and quickly got used to the balance and sheer pace of the car.
“In the end the lap was simply fantastic, and the WRX STI behaved impeccably,” explains Higgins. “That we managed to set such an impressive time at our first attempt is a great tribute to the Subaru, especially given that so few modifications have been made. The engine pulled incredibly strongly throughout and the cornering capability proved crucial on such a twisty, unforgiving course.”
The WRX STI used for the record breaking run was a standard Subaru production car, equipped with a 300PS Horizontally-Opposed Boxer engine, unmodified brake callipers and with road-legal Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tyres. Springs and dampers were adjusted to minimise any potential damage when the car encountering the various bumps and jumps at high speed along the course. It was also fitted with an MSA-specification T45 integrated roll cage, TRS race harnesses and a Lifeline extinguisher system, because the TT course has almost no crash barriers!