While it is rather odd for a car to enter an event mostly centered around vehicles of the two-wheel variety, Subaru has made it a point to participate in the Isle of Man over the recent years. Having previously set the record around the island for cars in 2011 – and then breaking it again in 2014 – 2016 would mark another year wherein they would top the record they’ve long since held – this time by a landslide.
With the record set at 19:56.7 in 2011, then brought down to 19:15.88 in 2014, Subaru’s Isle of Man driver Mark Higgins was now able to bring the record down to 17 minutes and 49.75 seconds (17:49.15), well under a minute of the previous record.
Previous attempts at the lap record involved a mildly-fettled and mostly factory-tuned WRX STI, whereas this year Subaru went all-out with a bespoke 600 PS WRX STI purposely built for bringing down the lap record this year. The guys at Prodrive – Subaru’s partner in their rallying efforts – brought the WRX STI up to spec with a larger turbo, heavily revised suspension, lots of aero work, and competition-grade tires to allow Higgins to get the most out of the car on his flying lap.
“I’ve only had one practice run so I’m over the moon to do that on only my second lap and there’s a little bit more to come – definitely from me because I’m learning all the time I go around the track – and there is a little bit more to come from the car as well,” Higgins states in an interview over Manx Radio.