Subaru has gone faster again round the 37.7mile Isle of Man TT course. On Monday afternoon, Mark Higgins set an incredible time of 17min 35sec. That equates to an average speed of 128.73mph. For context, the previous record stood at 19min 26sec – an average speed of 116.47mph.
The bike lap record currently stands at 133.393mph with Michael Dunlop dipping below 17 minutes for the first time. You can see a full on-board video of his lap below. Few people, Higgins included, thought that a car would ever get this close to the bikes but he says there is still more to come.
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The car is a specially prepared WRX STI built by Prodrive, that is said to be 40 per cent WRC car and 60 per cent race car. It has a 2-litre turbocharged flat-four (obviously) capable of putting out 600bhp and 590lb ft of torque. However, the car hasn’t been running at full capacity yet due to the hot weather and a desire prioritise reliability (nobody wanted an engine blowing up and putting oil on the course!).
It is geared for 180mph at 8500rpm in sixth and there is a DRS system to stall the rear wing, something that Higgins says he is using for 40 per cent of the lap. The car weighs just 1175kg and runs on a Dunlop touring car slick. Significant changes to the set up were made between the car’s first run on Saturday (when it averaged 126mph) and the Monday run, with the springs being stiffer and the balance a little less oversteery.
“It was an amazing run today considering we were running in very hot conditions and the tarmac was quite soft,” explained Higgins. “With lower temperatures we would be making more horsepower, so I still believe we have more left in terms of speed…”
There is talk that the car could do a 130mph lap if the weather is right for the final run on Friday. Watch this space…