THE SNAEFELL Mountain course is a hallowed and dangerous road.
Home of the Isle of Man TT, the course is a winding rollercoaster of twisted bitumen that is notorious for destroying motorbikes, egos, and – unfortunately – lives.
There is something about the 60-kilometre track, which utilises public roads, that captures the imaginations of millions who attend, compete in, or watch the Isle of Man TT every year.
Traditionally, the TT is reserved for those more fond of vehicles that fall over if you don’t go fast. But cars also have a history on the circuit.
Subaru has made a concerted effort in the last couple of years to own the mountain, sending a relatively stock WRX STi to the TT each year to set and re-set the car lap record.
It was a successful exercise, with Manx native Mark Higgins lapping in the sub-20-minute mark to hold the record.
But this year, Subaru didn’t want to send another almost-stock STi. No, this year it put the Rex on the juice, and sent Higgins armed with his most powerful weapon yet.
The car that took to the Mountain course this year was a stripped-out, race-ready STi with a 550-horsepower WRC engine.
Higgins obliterated his old record, lapping the course in the high 17-minutes mark in his first attempt. Then on round two he lowered his record by further 14-seconds to put down a scorching 17:35.139 lap.
This now stands as the fastest time a four-wheeled car has ever lapped the Snaefell Mountain course, but Higgins will have another crack at the track on Friday.
To put into perspective how quick this lap was, Higgins topped out at 271km/h, and was just 30-seconds adrift of the full-blown Superbikes that are taking part in the TT this weekend.
Watch a short video of the attempt, courtesy of British publication, Autocar.