It may be a slower lap than the bikes, but Mark Higgins blasting around the Isle of Man course in a Scooby really is breathtaking and terrifying in equal measure.
If the following insane video footage onboard a Subaru WRX STI performing a lap of the Isle of Man TT course doesn’t stir something in you, we fear for the worst. Honestly. We’re unsure how Mark Higgins can even get in a car for the size of his cojones.
The video published on June 27th shows the triple British Rally champion lapping the Isle of Man famous course, which has claimed many lives, in a 2015 WRX STI rally car. It’s a frightening insight into just how fearless (or stupid) the average race driver has to be.
Higgins manages to make it around in 19 minutes and five seconds. That’s an average of 117.5mph over the 37.3-mile course, beating his previous record of 115.36mph achieved in 2011.
The Manx native commentates throughout the 20-minute video on where he has to ease off, what gear to be in and the odd fact about the TT riders. He also talks about other facets of the race we rarely consider such as the number of blind corners, blind crests and small bumps in the road that send the car wide. Fascinating stuff – if we weren’t too busy concentrating on the sheer speed.
Unlike other onboard videos, you can see Higgins’ hear rate throughout the race. Early on it stays around 128bpm, before surging as high as 158bpm after the initial warm up phase is complete.
You really do feel inadequate when Higgins is making jokes about the huge drop to one side on the mountain section of the course or observations like adding a gear between 5th and 6th. Obviously the commentary came after the drive, but his blasé, care-free attitude is still inspiring.
“So I’ve actually done a lap at this point in my eyes,” Higgins says after descending from the mountain section, “but I’ve got another two or three miles flat out to do to get the time.” Spoken like a true nutter.
We have a real appreciation for anyone who can drive within inches of kerbs at 160mph. Bike or car, one mistake can – and does – result in death. That, ladies and gentleman, is why the course has no rival. Even Formula One drivers admit the TT is a whole different ball game.
Current king of the TT is John McGuinness. He set the fastest ever TT lap of 17:11.52 in 2013, giving him and his Honda CBR1000RR superbike an average speed of 131.671mph.
Audi’s Tom Kristensen recently did a ‘tutorial’ for Le Mans, which is also well worth a look.
Set aside 20 minutes and enjoy. Then watch a video on the car itself.