If you were on the Isle of Man for the TT, it wasn’t hard to notice that Subaru was the official car sponsor of the event. Beyond the bevy of billboards, signs, and strategically parked cars, every race or practice session was preceded and concluded by the Course Inspection car, or cars as it was this past fortnight. With no less than four vehicles making the rounds around the ~38 mile Mountain Course, the idea was pretty simple: more cars = more exposure, and it doesn’t hurt that it means more seats for VIPs and the like.

Subaru also got its money’s worth this year, as there was also a series of Subaru exhibition laps, where Manx-born rally driver Mark Higgins took a Subaru Impreza WRX STI on a flying-lap around the TT course, in an effort to break the four-wheeled vehicle record. Higgins did so on the very first day, and by the end of the week had posted a top time of 19:56.7, which works out to be an average speed of 113 mph.

This shattered the 21-year-old record set by Tony Pond by nearly two minutes (22:09:01), and of course got the interwebs talking about Subaru. Things almost went a different way though, as flying down Ago’s Leap, Higgins and passanger Chris Cantle had a 150 mph moment. Watch what Higgins called “the moment of his life” after his jump.

Source: YouTube (Road & Track); Photo: Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

  • buzz

    I like the other buy doesn’t blink an eye. That’s a sweet piece of driving.

    On a side note, I think the race cars should be kept off this road. There could be some serious done to the home and spectators if one crashed.

  • Wow, Buzz, wet blanket dude. That’s kind of the concept behind IOMTT. Did you miss that?

    Watching Tony’s hands during that “moment” was spectacular. He’s like Jackie Chan on a steering wheel.

  • buzz

    Deeztoolz-Last time I checked it was for motorcycles not cars. A motorcycle crashing at 120mph is going to hurt the driver but a car crashing at 120mph can do some serious damage to the houses and spectators.

  • MajorTom

    I was at the TT and this annoyed me. All fine and dandy for Subaru to get some publicity, but this was done in a poorly executed manner. The “demonstration lap” on Friday required two ‘practice laps’ during the week; which assisted in buggering up the timing for the bike races. Clearly, despite the official line being to the contrary this was to beat Tony Pond’s Rover record (timing method was identical,) which was in a standard (but for tyres afaik) Rover 800, an early 90s family/executive saloon. Clearly records round the Nurburgring has lots it’s allure!

    More importantly, this event required more legislation than the TT races could cover. It was not covered by the ACU for obvious reasons, and required separate insurance. It also required distinct marshals, others were told to stand down for the duration. A conversation with a Marshall and radio messages heard on the marshal’s intercom made that clear. A Sighting lap by the course cars was required for each run (insurance purposes afaik and was told) which further added to the time for each lap.

    I don’t believe that this sort of thing brought anything of note to this years event; it could have been more than just an interesting flash by of a car, but it all just came across as a watered down commercial with a slightly worrying aspect of cross purposes between sponsors and what the TT is about.

    Save for a couple of niggles, the rest of the TT was fantastic, I hasten to add.

  • There’s no way you could run a car TT on the Mountain Course, it’s dangerous enough to spectators and marshals with the bikes. I sat at Creg Ny Baa on the second practice, and the car almost lopped off some legs of people sitting on the hedgerow.

    As for something between the races, it’s not bad, and if it puts money in the IOMTT’s pocket to help promote the TT further, then fine by me. I think there were enough “moments” though to make its continuation an unlikely occurrence, though I could be wrong.

  • Steve

    It’s all fun and games until someone gets an eye put out.

  • Mike J

    That’s tame compared to Dan Kneen’s “moment” at Rhencullen.