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Car and Driver: Isle of Man-liness: Subaru Breaks Record—Again

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TT, David Higgins, Record

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Five years ago Subaru and rally car driver David Higgins set out to break a record: Set the fastest lap time ever recorded by a production car around the Isle of Man’s 37 miles of public road turned race course.

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Traditionally run by motorcycles as part of the island’s near-annual Tourist Trophy race, Subaru and Higgins said to hell with tradition and took down the previous 20-plus-year-old automotive record run of 22 minutes and 9 seconds set by Tony Pond in a Rover 827 Vitesse (a vehicle we’ve previously described as a “glorified” Acura Legend) with a run clocked at 19 minutes and 37 seconds in a predominantly stock 2011 WRX STI.

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Since then, the Japanese automobile manufacturer and the British rally car driver have continued to best their own attempts around the island course, with the two most recently—as in yesterday—tackling the circuit in a mind-blowing 17 minutes and 35 seconds. To put this in perspective, the course’s absolute record of just under 17 minutes and 4 seconds is currently held by John McGuinness who recorded that on a Honda CBR1000RR motorcycle just last year.

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This latest time, though, was not done in a near-stock WRX STI. Instead, the company worked with Prodrive to develop a highly tuned, purpose-built WRX STI with a turbocharged flat-4 engine that reportedly develops close to 600 horsepower.

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While Higgins can once again put another notch in his record-setting belt, the Isle of Man-born driver still thinks there’s more left in the car, stating that the island’s higher than normal temperature limited the car’s horsepower during yesterday’s run. Fortunately for both Higgins and Subaru, the Isle of Man TT continues until June 10, giving the man and the manufacturer more time to once again beat their own record.

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