STUNNING SUBARU LAPS UP TT COURSE RECORD
A SUBARU WRX STI piloted by rally driver Mark Higgins set a stunning new lap record around the fabled 37-mile Isle of Man TT Road Course on June 6. Higgins (pictured) achieved a blistering average speed of 128.73 mph and a lap time of just 17 minutes 35 seconds, shattering the previous record — also held by Higgins — of 116.47mph and a time of 19 minutes 26 seconds.
The purpose-built 600bhp, 2.0-litre turbocharged 2016 Subaru WRX STI Time Attack car has a top speed of 180mph and weighs 1,175kg. The model is a joint development of Subaru of America, and Prodrive, with technical assistance provided by Subaru Tecnica International (STI).
“It was an amazing run today considering we were running in very hot conditions and the tarmac was quite soft,” said Higgins.
“With lower temperatures we would be making more horsepower, so I still believe we have more left in terms of speed, but it is great to have another record in the bank. The chassis on this new car is fantastic to drive. It really allowed me to pick up time in each sector in the more technical parts of the course.”
The arduous TT Course is similar in style to both the Nurburgring and Le Mans in the demands it puts on suspension and engines. Setting a new lap record called upon the joint expertise of Prodrive for the design and build, and Subaru Technica International for technical assistance.
Both have an extensive history in building and designing race-winning cars. Prodrive and Subaru have won three World Rally Championship Manufacturer titles together and three World Rally Championship driver titles. STI has experience designing winning road-course cars, designing the back-to-back class winner at the 2015 and 2016 Nurburgring 24-Hour Races. “We are happy to be back at the Isle of Man as a sponsor,” said Dominick Infante of Subaru of America. “There is nothing like a lap of the TT circuit to push a car to its limits. “As Subaru are the official car of the TT, this record is especially gratifying. The Isle of Man really shows the capability of this new WRX STI. “And like its road equivalent the central concept is Subaru’s symmetrical all wheel drive system, linked to a lowslung Boxer turbo power unit.
“Subaru’s layout keeps the car’s centre of gravity exceptionally low, maximising cornering stability whilst the AWD delivers incredible grip and traction. Lapping on average just under 130mph would not have been possible otherwise.”
The event took place under full, closed-road-race conditions. The roadgoing street legal version of the WRX STI develops 300bhp and 407Nm of torque from its 2.5 litre high boost turbo DOHC engine and covers 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds. The car retails at just £28,995 delivered to Northern Ireland, and can be tested at local dealers Eastwood Motors, Lisburn; Western Cars Enniskillen, and Gormley Motors Dungannon.
For more information about the Subaru WRX STI, visit www. subaru-ni.com.
A Subaru WRX STI piloted by Mark Higgens set a new record at the Isle of Man TT