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WRX STI smashes Isle of Man lap record

 

Three-time British Rally champ Mark Higgins has broken the lap record for a car around the Isle of Man TT course in the new Subaru WRX STI.

Three-time British Rally champ Mark Higgins has broken the lap record for a car around the Isle of Man TT course in the new Subaru WRX STI.

Higgins clocked an average speed of 116.47mph (187.28 km/h), hitting a top speed of 162.9mph (261.94 km/h) on the Sulby Straight and completing the 37.7 mile (60.62 kms) closed road course in 19 minutes and 26 seconds.

The new benchmark improves on Higgins’ own record set in 2011, in the previous generation Subaru WRX STI by more than 30 seconds, when he averaged 115.36mph.

Despite topping his own record, Higgins wasn’t completely satisfied: “That was quite a wild lap, there’s definitely more time out there,” he told us. “I probably dropped about 10 seconds going over the mountain.”

Higgins caused a storm of publicity in 2011 when he saved a huge 150mph slide going down Bray Hill corner with an American journalist on board. The video of the incident has now been viewed over two million times on YouTube.

Although there were no problems at Bray Hill this time around, the run wasn’t without incident: “I overshot a corner near the end and had to use the handbrake to get the car around,” he said.

The record breaking run came after a frustrating couple of days for Higgins who had his record attempted postponed twice due to weather delays and two tragic fatalities on the unforgiving road course.

The car was run in production specification apart from a roll cage, full harness seat belt, fire extinguisher system, competition brake linings and stiffer springs and dampers. The organisers of the 10 day long motorcycle racing also requested the fitting of the noisiest exhaust system possible for safety reasons so the public could hear the STI coming.

The TT’s outright lap record was set by Kiwi Bruce Anstey in the Superbike race last Sunday at 17min 6.7sec and 132.298mph.

The latest WRX STI will be launched in New Zealand at the end of the month.

Browse Subaru WRX STIs for sale in New Zealand.


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