Subaru has once again broken the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) record in the four-wheeled class! This time, British rally ace, Mark Higgins did it in the brand new Subaru WRX STi.
If you don’t know what the Isle of Man TT is, its arguably one of the most dangerous motorbike races in the world, taking place around the British Isle of Man, where motorcyclists race around the countryside at breakneck speeds, attempting to lap the 37.8 mile (60.8km) circuit as fast as possible. These men that attempt this are either very brave, or very stupid, or possibly both.
Hold on a second, you may have noticed that I said the Isle of Man TT is arguably one of the most dangerous motorbike races around the world – that’s because it’s only for motorbikes, and the only reason Subaru compete is as a major sponsor of the event and for publicity. Technically, Subaru have broken their own record, which they set in the 1st place as the only car entered into the race.
So the record-breaking claim is a little enthusiastic, but don’t for one second think that that makes it any less spectacular, or ballsy for that matter. Using the 220kW 2014 Subaru WRX STi in US spec, Higgins set a lap time of 19 minutes 26 seconds, with an average speed of 187km/h and a top speed of over 257km/h. This was achieved in a car whose only modifications involved adjusted springs and dampers to avoid damage over the courses many bumps and jumps, and addition of safety equipment such as a roll cage, race harness, and fire suppression system. The WRX STi was equipped with Dunlop Derezza tyres.
His previous record, in the previous generation WRX STi stood at 19 minutes 56.7 seconds.
After the lap time, Higgins said, “There is nothing like the TT course in all racing. Not just because of its length but the elevation changes, constant surface variations as you shift from town to country roads and the fact we run from 30mph (48km/h) and then up to 160mph (257km/h) plus for much of the race.”
The new Subaru WRX STi is set to debut in South Africa within the next two months.