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Douglas, Isle of Man - In a final timed run on the iconic Isle of Man Tourist Trophy course during TT Week 2014, Mark Higgins broke his own production-car lap record for the fabled 59.2km motorcycle road-racing circuit in a new Subaru WRX STI with a time of 19m15s - that's an average speed of 188km/h.
In Higgins' earlier attempt on Wednesday, several errors caused him to lose time, he said, and he was determined to get more out of the car.
And did, bettering Wednesday's time of 19:26 (186.35km/h) by 11 seconds, and the previous record speed of 184.57km/h (set in 2011, also in a WRX STI) by nearly 4km/h.
"Everything came together and I was able to do a much cleaner lap," he said afterwards. "I'm still learning where I can go flat out in this car.”
"But the best part was beating two of the motorcycle lap records.”
“We bettered sidecar lap record and the Zero Bikes record for electric motorcycles, which is held by John McGuiness; he's been teasing me about that!”
The car Higgins drove was a standard US-specification 2014 Subaru WRX STI, with the exception of a roll-cage, racing seat and harness, fire suppression system and modified springs and dampers to handle the sustained high speeds and changing conditions of the course
The speed limiter was removed, a very loud straight-through exhaust fitted (for crowd safety, say the Subaru boffins with absolutely straight faces!) and it was running on Dunlop Direzza tyres.
Subaru PR maven Dominick Infante said: "We knew there was more speed in the car after Wednesday's run and we're very happy the organisers gave us another opportunity - Mark was really flying on that final lap!"