Higgins smashes Isle of Man lap record in Subaru’s new WRX STI

Averaging 116mph, Mark Higgins has once again broken the four-wheeled lap record around the famous Isle of Man TT circuit. The British rally champion set a new record of 19 minutes 26 seconds in a production version of the newly launched Subaru WRX STI.

[UPDATE 6 June 2014: Higgins has since been out again and gone even quicker, completing the circuit in 19 minutes and 15 seconds, averaging 117.5mph.]

Manxman Higgins completed his timed run under closed road conditions as part of the TT schedule and beat his previous record, set in 2011, by an astonishing 30 seconds, reaching speeds of over 160mph on the way.

Subaru WRX STI Isle of Man TT 2014 1 FrontSeatDriver.co.uk“It was quite a lap we did today and I am really happy to have another record in the bank,” said Mark. “The chassis of the new car is so much better it really allowed me to pick up time in each sector in the more technical parts of the course.

“There is nothing like the TT course in all racing. Not just because of its length but the elevation changes, constant surface variations as you shift from town to country roads and the fact we run from 30mph and then up to 160mph plus for much of the race.”

The WRX STI used for Higgins’s run was a standard Subaru production car (US specification) equipped with a 300 PS 2.5-litre horizontally-opposed turbocharged Boxer engine. The only modifications to the car involved the springs and dampers, which were adjusted to minimise any potential damage when the car encountered the course’s many bumps and jumps at high speed.

The WRX STI was also equipped with essential safety enhancements, including a roll-cage, race harness and fire suppression system, and was fitted with Dunlop Derezza tyres.

The Subaru WRX STI is now on sale in the UK for £28,995.

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Phil is a motoring writer for print and web, failed racing driver, car hoarder and banger rally competitor. Nominated for the Headline Auto Rising Star award and a MGMW member, Phil freelances for outlets as diverse as Diesel Car magazine, DAD.info and Cambridge Magazine, amongst many others. He also maintains a fleet of unloved motors, but spends most of his time driving an old Corvette.