In previous years, Subaru would provide British Rally driver Mark Higgins with a stock STI to race in the legendary Isle of Man TT lap record attempt. This year, things are a little different.
Subaru is teaming with engineering firm Prodrive to develop a purpose built Subaru WRX STI for this year’s new lap record attempt at the Isle of Man TT. Mark Higgins already owns the current lap record set in 2014 in a stock Subaru WRX STI of 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
Prodrive and Subaru have long been partners in successful World Rally Championship campaigns in years past.
While details have not been released about the new car, accompanying images suggest that it has received suspension and aerodynamic upgrades in addition to racing slicks and a stripped out interior, which is in line with a race-prepared, rather than stock vehicle.
Speculation is mounting that most of Prodrive’s efforts will be focused on suspension settings rather than engine modifications. If that is the case, the upcoming vehicle will most likely receive a freer-breathing exhaust.
If the engine in this year’s vehicle remains stock, it will produce 296 horsepower and 300 ft-lbs of torque. However, stickier tires, aerodynamic enhancements, and a more aggressive spring and damper set up means that this year’s WRX STI will be much more agile.
If Mark Higgins is to break his 2014 record, he will have to average 117.5 miles per hour over the 37.7 mile TT road course. This is very fast over such a long distance.
This year’s Isle of Man TT will take place over a two-week period starting on May 28th and ending June 10. It is not known at this time just when Higgins will be making the record attempt. However, you can expect that we will cover it.
Prodrive and Subaru had an 18-year relationship up till it ended in 2008 after Subaru withdrew from the World Rally Championship (WRC). Over the term of the relationship, the partners won three driver’s and three manufacturer’s titles with leading drivers Colin McRae, Richard Burns and Petter Solberg.
2014 Lap Record Attempt by Mark Higgins in a WRX STI