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New Subaru WRX STI aiming for a new Isle of Man TT lap record

Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 -0700

The new Subaru WRX STI (pictured) is heading to the IoM

Three years ago rally driver Mark Higgins went off to the Isle of Man with the last generation Subaru WRX STI and set a new record for a car round the TT course. And he’s about to attempt to beat that record in the new WRX STI. The current record round the challenging TT course is 19m 56.7 seconds – at an average speed of 115mph – a truly astonishing pace for a standard road car on a difficult and challenging road course. But not half as impressive as the record Mark Higgins broke three years ago.

That record was set by Tony Pond in 1990 in a Rover 827 Vitesse, a rather wallowy BL beast with the benefit of a sweet Honda V6 under the bonnet, but with FWD and just 177bhp it was hardly a contender for such a record.

But Tony Pond managed to hustle the old Rover round the Isle of Man TT track in a bit over 21 minutes and at an average speed of over 100mph. An incredible drive.

But Mark Higgins’ drive in 2011 was still impressive, and Subaru obviously think the 2015 WRX STI with its all-wheel-drive and 296bhp (this is a US spec car) has more than a fighting chance of breaking the last generation’s time.

The car Mark Higgins is using is a stock model but with a few safety additions and a bit of suspension fettling to cope with the bumps and jumps on the TT course, but apart from that it’s a bog standard car.

Mark Higgins said:

Setting the record was totally exhilarating and one of the highlights of my career – Bray Hill certainly added to the thrill! As a Manxman, I love the TT Races and I have a huge amount of respect for the TT riders and what they do.

It will be a real honour to attempt a new fastest car lap.

Subaru are planning three timed runs round the closed TT circuit on 31 May, 2 and 4 June and we’ll update after that. In the meantime, enjoy the 2011 record in the video below.

But below that, we’ve put a video of Tony Pond’s 1990 record in the Rover. It really is worth the watch.

By Cars UK