With two runs to go, the STI could still get even quicker around the tricky course.
Subaru has once again broken its four-wheel-vehicle lap record around the Isle of Man, and the latest run demolished the previous time. The Japanese brand’s 600-horsepower WRX STI lapped the 37.73-mile Snaefell Mountain Course in 17 minutes and 49.75 seconds, versus 19:15.88 in 2014 and 19:56.7 in 2011.
Driver Mark Higgins broke his previous record on May 4. “I’ve only had one practice run so I’m over the moon to do that on only my second lap and there’s a little bit more to come – definitely from me because I’m learning all the time I go around the track - and there is a little bit more to come from the car as well,” he told Manx Radio, Autocar reported.
There’s a possibility the record could fall even lower. Higgins has another run scheduled for May 6 and a final attempt on May 10.
Higgins’ weapon for these record attempts is a specially prepped WRX STI. The experts at Prodrive significantly turned up the output from the 2.0-liter turbocharged boxer engine, including adding a larger turbo. A revised suspension setup, drag reduction system, and competition-spec tires also let the Subaru negotiate the Isle of Man’s twists, turns, and undulations.
For the previous two attempts, Higgins used STI’s that were closer to stock specification. The one from 2011 benefited mostly from safety upgrades. The 2014 car also had an upgraded suspension but still had street-legal tires.
Higgins’ record doesn’t give him the title as the fastest overall vehicle around the Snaefell Mountain Course. According to Autocar, Michael Dunlop set a new course record on May 4 when he managed a 16:58.254 lap.
We expect Subaru to release a video of Higgins’ entire lap eventually. Until then, check out the two clips below to get idea of just how quick he went to manage such an impressive time.