Subaru has posted a new four-wheel record lap around the perilous TT mountain course on the Isle of Man.
With gun pilot Mark Higgins at the wheel, the Japanese car maker recorded a new best time of 19 minutes and 26 seconds in its new WRX STi overnight, at an average speed of 187kmh. In the mostly stock STI – the exceptions being different springs and dampers – Higgins bettered his previous mark of 19 minutes and 56 seconds, set in 2011.
According to Subaru, the car's speed ranged from as little as 50kmh to over 260kmh across the 60km circuit.
''It was quite a lap we did today and I am really happy to have another record in the bank. The chassis of the new car is so much better - it really allowed me to pick-up time in each sector in the more technical parts of the course,'' Higgins said.
''There is nothing like the TT course in all racing. Not just because of its length but the elevation changes, constant surface variations as you shift from town to country roads and the fact we run from 30mph and then up to 160mph plus for much of the race.''
In trackside video footage, the WRX's distinctive boxer engine can be heard crackling away from a distance, before whizzing past spectators.
While impressive, Higgins time isn't quick enough to challenge the outright two-wheel record, set by Kiwi rider Bruce Anstey on Sunday. Riding a CBR1000RR, Anstey set a new time of 17 minutes and 6 seconds with an average speed of 213km/h.
Two motorcycle riders died at this year's Isle of Man meeting. Overall, 242 people have lost their lives at the annual race.
- Sydney Morning Herald