Subaru smashes TT course lap record

Subaru Impreza WRX STI posts the fastest ever lap of the Isle of Man TT Circuit with Mark Higgins driving

One of the longest standing – and least likely – UK speed records has been comprehensively demolished. The car lap record for the Isle of Man TT Circuit had stood for 21 years, but yesterday rally veteran Mark Higgins smashed it in a Subaru Impreza WRX STI.

Manxman Higgins posted a time of 19:56.7 for his first ‘demonstration lap’ of the 37.8-mile TT Course in what's described as a ‘lightly modified’ STI – translating into an average speed of 113mph. That’s over two minutes quicker than the record set by Tony Pond in 1990, when he set the first ever 100mph average lap using the somewhat improbable tool of a Rover 827 Vitesse.

Higgins admitted he could have gone quicker, and the Subaru also suffered from brake fade towards the end of the lap. He averaged 124mph for the section between Douglas and Ramsey, and even at the top of the mountain section he was still on course for a 120mph lap. With further runs scheduled for Wednesday and Friday as part of the TT race week, expect the record to come down even further.  

Pond’s record stood for over 21 years in large part because more modern machinery wasn’t given the chance to challenge it – but it was still a remarkable piece of driving, the late rally star showing impressive commitment as he hustled his big Rover around the circuit. For reference, the fastest ever lap of the circuit is the bike record set by John McGuinness in 2009 on a Honda CBR1000RR racer, his time of 17:12.3 translating into an average speed of 131.5mph.

Tony Pond's 1990 lap:

Recommended

'In a moment of white-hot clarity my brain calculated McRae would be apexing precisely where we were standing'
Dickie Meaden opinion
Subaru

'In a moment of white-hot clarity my brain calculated McRae would be apexing precisely where we were standing'

How a close encounter with Colin McRae left a lasting Impreza impression
14 Apr 2021
Subaru WRX STI S209 2020 review – US-only special driven on UK roads
Subaru

Subaru WRX STI S209 2020 review – US-only special driven on UK roads

It may be nearing the end of its production, but this WRX STI on steroids is extremely rapid once its idiosyncrasies have been learnt. The S209 is a c…
24 Apr 2020

Most Popular

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal
Ferrari badge
Ferrari

All-electric Ferrari confirmed for 2025 reveal

Ferrari has confirmed its first EV, but first three new models are due in the coming months
15 Apr 2021
Mercedes-AMG Project One spied on the 'Ring
Mercedes-AMG Project One – quarter
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG Project One spied on the 'Ring

AMG’s F1-derived hypercar is nearly ready to rival the Valkyrie and T.50
16 Apr 2021
Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival
Jaguar XJ41
Jaguar

Jaguar XJ41 – Dead on arrival

The blighted ’80s ‘F-type’, the demise of which led to the creation of the Jaguar XK8 and launched a new era for Aston Martin
8 Apr 2021