Rally driver Mark Higgins breaks the 21-yr record, and has a ‘moment’ along the way…
Former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins has set a record lap time on the Isle of Man TT circuit in a production-spec Subaru WRX STI.
The record time of 19 minutes and 56.7 seconds was set on Higgins’ first run of the 37.8 mile (60.83 km) road course. His average speed on the run was 113 mph (182 km/h) while hitting a top speed of 162 mph (261 km/h).
Higgins topped the previous record by over 2 minutes, set 21 years ago to the day (June 6) by Tony Pond in a Rover 827 Vitesse.
The production-spec WRX STI used came with a turbocharged 2.5 liter unit with 221 kW (300 PS / 296 hp) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft). But some modifications were made to the car, mainly for safety reasons. Those were an MSA-spec T45 integrated roll cage, TRS race harness and a Lifeline fire extinguisher system. A loud exhaust system also helped warn spectators of the upcoming car. Also, the car was a left-hand drive model and was wearing Ohio plates of all things.
So this is all very impressive stuff – averaging 113mph in a car on a road course. But the most impressive thing about this whole story, is waht happened on Higgins’ 2nd run to try and beat his time. Imagine losing the back end of your car on an average road – scary at the best of times. Now imagine going 150mph and doing it.
Well this is what happened to Higgins, and it’s rather frightening! What is most amazing, is in the 2nd video below. Just look at the calm expression on the co-driver’s face as Higgins in winding on opposite lock faster than he can talk – absolute calm. Amazing stuff. Enjoy: