Subaru WRX STI breaks 21-year record on Isle of Man track
"This was the most thrilling and frightening thing I have ever done," said Higgins, a Manx native. "It has been my dream to drive this course since I was a little boy and I am just elated that we were able to hit the speeds we did. The Subaru was just rock solid through the mountain section and took an amazing amount of punishment on the course."
On his first practice run of the demanding TT circuit, Higgins averaged 113 MPH on the 37-mile course. "It was difficult because we really had no idea what speeds we would be able to do on the course as we were unable to run a full lap at speed," Higgins said. "Today we were unsure if we would be able to run because of the weather. There was hail on part of the course this morning, and heavy rain, but we were able to get a run off and it was a great lap."
The WRX STI was equipped with a standard 305 horsepower, turbocharged boxer engine, although a few modifications were made in the interest of safety. These modifications included a Lifeline fire suppression system, Hockley Motorsports roll cage, motordrive competition seats, Mintex brake pads utilizing stock calipers and rotors and an open exhaust to avoid any chance of sneaking up on spectators. The speed governor was disengaged to allow higher maximum speed; springs and dampers were enhanced to better handle numerous high-speed jumps, grabbing nearly four feet of air in the WRX STI. The Subaru was shod with street legal Pirelli P Zero Trofeo tires.
"We could not be more pleased with the result of this week's drive," said Dominick Infante, National Manager of Product Communications for Subaru of America, Inc. "The WRX STI performed incredibly well at near flat-out speeds and Mark drove impeccably. His save at Bray Hill at 150 MPH was some of the best driving any of us have ever seen." Click here to watch the YouTube video of the event.
Subaru is the official car partner of the Isle of Man TT Races.