Subaru WRX STi smashes Isle of Man TT record | video

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TAGS Subaru WRX Subaru Subaru News Motorsports Race track Subaru WRX STi smashes Isle of Man TT record | video

8 June 2016 by Tim Robson · CarsGuide

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There aren't many properly hardcore motorsport events left on the planet, but the Isle of Man TT race certainly qualifies.

The motorcycle event, runs around the tiny island nestled off the coasts of Wales, Scotland and the UK, takes in narrow village lanes and flat-out blasts through winding, treacherous hillside passes.

It's a dangerous place, too. The event has claimed two lives already in 2016, including that of Australian sidecar racer Dwight Beare, and brings the total number of fatalities on the event to 250 over its 100-year history.

Subaru UK has used the 2016 TT event to reset its own 2014 four-wheeled lap record around the 60.7km course, with British rally driver and movie stuntman Mark Higgins taking the wheel of a seriously modified WRX STi sedan.

Higgins, whose lurid moment in 2011 – with a journo on board, no less – has become stuff of legend, set a 17m 35.1sec lap time on his second attempt, averaging 207km/h around the road circuit that features more than 260 corners. His 2014 mark was 19m 15.8sec.

UK rider Michael Dunlop lapped the course on his BMW S1000RR motorbike in 16m 58sec the day before.

Higgin's car was built by famed race and rally outfit (and the former owners of Ford Performance Vehicles) Prodrive, and sports a World Rally Championship-spec 2.0-litre boxer engine putting out a handy 447kW of power and 542Nm of torque through all four wheels.

Taller fourth, fifth and sixth gears have been added to the manual gearbox, while tarmac-spec suspension and British Touring Car Championship-spec slick tyres channel power to the bumpy tarmac.

"The conditions were great; the only problem I had was in the last five or six miles when I couldn't see for flies on the windscreen,” Higgins told Manx radio. "That made things a bit difficult in the last sector, but I can't really complain because the bike riders have them on their visors all the time."

He will make another attempt before the TT wraps up later this week.

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