British and American rally champion Mark Higgins has broken the lap record for a car around the Isle of Man TT course, three years after an incident on the same road that has been viewed on YouTube more than two million times. Higgins this week drove a Subaru WRX STi (above) to complete the 61km course in 19 minutes and 26 seconds. He clocked an average speed of 188.6km/h and hit a top speed of 263.8km/h on the Sulby Straight. The new benchmark improves on his record run in 2011 in a previous generation WRX STi, when he averaged 186.8km/h.It was during that run that he sensationally gathered in the car from a 245km/h slide at Bray Hill corner. Cameras above
and on board the car record the dramatic recovery. The video went viral – to view it copy and paste this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFlSG9_Ue4A Higgins said Bray Hill was probably the “most terrifying corner” on the TT course. The slide in 2011 was “definitely the biggest moment and one I don’t want to have again in a hurry.” There were no problems at Bray Hill on Wednesday, but it wasn’t without incident: “I overshot a corner near the end and had to use the handbrake to get the car around,” he said. Despite his success, Higgins wasn’t totally satisfied: “That was quite a wild lap, there’s definitely more time out there,” he said. “I probably dropped about 10 seconds going over the mountain. We definitely dropped some power there – I couldn’t get it into top gear going up hill.” Higgins was driving a standard US-spec WRX STi, powered by a 224kW 2.5-litre four-cylinder flat-four engine. The only modifications were a roll cage in the back, new springs and dampers, uprated brake pads, a racing seat, and a straight-through exhaust to make the car as loud as possible, at the TT organiser’s request. The record-breaking run came after it had twice being postponed because of the deaths of two British road racers. Veteran Bob Price, 65, died on Monday after being thrown from his bike on a bridge, and Karl Harris, 34, was killed on Tuesday in a crash on Joey’s Corner. • The new Subaru WRX STi lands in New Zealand later this month.