Prodrive-built Subaru STI smashes Nürburgring lap record, Japanese metal dominates at Goodwood Festival of Speed, show previews: Players Show & Japshow Finale, 5 mins with...anders Hildebrand, HKS GTS800 caught in action, Milltek ‘Active Sound’ technology, electric cars to take over the world!
The Prodrive-built Subaru Impreza we featured last year has a new name and a new lap record. Now called the ‘Subaru WRX STI Type RA NBR Special’, its name takes almost as long to read as it does for the car to complete a lap of the 12.9mile Nordschleife!
Former British Rally Champion Mark Higgins was behind the wheel once more, setting a blistering new lap record for a four-door saloon of 6min 57.5s. That’s insanely fast. It means the car now has two lap records, as it is also the fastest car to officially record a lap time around the Isle of Man TT course (17min 35.1s).
Since recording the TT lap record and appearing in JP, the car has been through a facelift. The aero package has been completely redesigned, delivering 295kg of downforce according to Prodrive. The engine is still a 2.0-litre turbo boxer kicking out 600bhp, while the drag reduction system also remains fully-functional, as does the WRC gearbox with its trick hydraulic paddle-shift system that can swap cogs faster than you can blink.
For the Nürburgring Nordschleife record attempt the car was running on 9in wide slick tyres. So this is very much an out-and-out racecar. Even so, a sub 7min full lap is stupidly fast – we’re
FORMER JP FEATURE CAR IMPRESSES AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED, THEN SMASHES NÜRBURGRING LAP RECORD
not talking about the shorter bridge-to-gantry lap either. Mark clearly had his ‘big boy pants’ on that day.
Prior to setting the ’Ring record, Prodrive took thecar to the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Once again Mark wowed the crowds with his maximum-attack driving style. In the famous Goodwood FOS hillclimb shootout on the Sunday afternoon, he recorded a 48.25s run to finish third fastest overall. The only cars to beat the NBR Special up the hill were a Group C Jaguar XJR12D and a PenskeChevrolet PC22 Indy Car. An impressive car that shows what can happen when the big boys turn their hand to performance tuning, without having to conform to race regs.