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Mark Higgins Topples Isle Of Man TT Circuit Record With Subaru WRX STI

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On: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 6:18PM | By: Clay Ritchings

Mark Higgins Topples Isle Of Man TT Circuit Record With Subaru WRX STI

The tiny bit of green that is known as Isle of Man is famous for its TT motorbike racing event held every year. Recently the island played host to one of the most remarkable displays of speed on the planet. As if rocketing down the 37.8-mile course by speed mongers on motorcycles in less than 18 minutes can get any better—it did. Subaru decided to have a go at beating that record, and sent a Subaru WRX STI sedan and former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins to make this record-breaking attempt.

The car is really a stock STI, except for some safety equipment, like a roll-cage, race harness, fire extinguisher. The only creature comforts come from adjustable springs and dampers to deal with the many bumps found on the course comprised of public roads, which are shut down during race days. The challenger smashed the old record, set by Tony Pond 21 years ago, by two minutes, with a time of 19:56.7 and an average speed of 113 miles per hour.

"Setting the record was both the most exhilarating and the most frightening thing I have ever done," explains Higgins, whose career as a driver in the British and World Rally Championships hasn't exactly been short of excitement. "The rules allow for a flying start, so I crossed the line at 125mph. I then went down through the Bray Hill junction—normally taken at around 20mph—at over 150mph. Once that tricky section was out of the way I settled into the lap and quickly got used to the balance and sheer pace of the car.

"In the end the lap was simply fantastic, and the WRX STI behaved impeccably," explains Higgins. "That we managed to set such an impressive time at our first attempt is a great tribute to the Subaru, especially given that so few modifications have been made. The engine pulled incredibly strongly throughout and the cornering capability proved crucial on such a twisty, unforgiving course."

For the record, the outright lap record on the TT course was set in 2009 by John McGuinness on a Honda CBR1000RR 'Fireblade' motorcycle. McGuinness posted a time of 17 minutes and 12.3 seconds, equivalent to an average speed of 131mph.



RoadKill | 12:11PM (Fri, Jun 10, 2011)

Unbelievable ride! I would love to see the whole ride on video, hopefully it will be posted...

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