Mark Higgins has done many great things in a Subaru WRX STI, most notably his monstrous 17:49.75 lap at the Snaefell Mountain Course…you know, the Isle of Man TT loop that is considered one of the ultimate tests of a racing bike. Higgins is that good behind the wheel of a Subie, but to throw a car down the St. Moritz-Celerina Olympic Bobrun course would be something of a challenge for the Manx native. The car that was chosen for the run was the 2014 Isle of Man record-setting car, a USDM specification 2015 Subaru WRX STI that had more or less just been sitting around. The car was sent to Prodrive for upfitting, where it got stiffer suspension to handle the punishment, body panel reinforcement in the admittedly high likelihood that a fender bounced off of a snowbank, and a muffler. The car was already ‘caged, so the only other change made before sending the Subaru down the sled path was new rubber: skinny studded tires that would carve into the ice like a scared cat took the place of the normal rubber.
Pointing a car down what is essentially an ice-covered goat path with a few high-banked turns and making good on the threat to drive it takes stones, and Higgins is apparently carrying around a couple of boulders. That’s not to say that he completed the entire run, but that wasn’t his fault: a bridge just past the “Shamrock” corner was too narrow for the Subaru to fit through, so the car went down to Shamrock, exited the course, then was driven back up the run just for good measure. We’re pretty sure that there were a few yards where the car went down the track purely on the driver’s side with little to no help from the tires, and for that alone, Mark Higgins remains one of the top drivers we pay attention to in the rally world.