This past week, we reported to you that British rally driver Mark Higgins was set to try and beat the late Tony Pond’s record lap time at the Isle of Man TT this year in his showroom-spec 2011 Subaru Impreza WRX STI. Tony Pond’s record stood at 22:09:01 minutes for over 20 years. Higgins was set to attempt to break the record on Friday. The thing about that though is that he’s already broken it, in his first practice lap.
In order to set the new record, the 40 year-old, Isle of Man native, Mark Higgins needed to drive his lightly modified North American-spec four-door Subaru Impreza WRX STI around the 37.72 mile-long, 200 turn Isle of Man TT course in under 22 minutes, all the while averaging over 100 mph. The WRX STI in question was modified with safety equipment, including a roll cage, racing brake pads and a street-legal set of sticky Pirelli tires. The Subaru probably also benefited a bit from the removal of the cars catalytic converters so it could be as loud as possible to warn spectators of the on-coming car.
Higgins’ run yesterday was supposed to be his first practice run along the course to familiarize himself with it before his record-setting attempt on Friday. The record run is supposed to coincide with Subaru of America’s sponsorship of the 12-day long motorcycle racing gauntlet. However on his first run, Higgins was able to average over 113 mph, and complete his “practice lap” in just under 19 minutes.
Higgins is expected to have another practice day today before “officially” breaking the record at speed on Friday. Only this time, it’s his own record that he’s breaking.
Source: Wall Street Journal, Energy FM, Subaru