The IOM TT car lap record was held by Tony Pond for many years in a Rover Vitesse. Watching the IOM TT car lap record attempt by Mark Higgin’s in the Subaru to break Pond’s long standing record of a 100mph average speed lap, I was insoired to think, what car and driver combination would I put my money on to break the IOM TT car lap record?
Of course, IOM is all about motorcycle racing at it’s best but I have to say, why not keep the roads closed one more day for a four wheeled challenge? On most race circuits, cars generally lap quicker than bikes by the nature of the amount of rubber they have on the track giving more lateral grip. So wouldn’t it be a great contest to have a car sprint event around the entire TT course, all 37 miles of it? Sure, it will take some setting up and there will certainly be problems, but here’s my thoughts:
Higgins was in a ‘standard’ Impreza with minimal modifications, as Subaru USA wanted to show how quick a standard car could be. I can think of several cars better suited. Porsche 911 GT3RS springs to mind, Lexus LFA another that would be spectacular and that’s just street cars. What about a GT racer like Aston’s DBR, BMW’s M3 GT, McLaren’s new GT3 car or even a WRC car with the right gearing? Don’t forget, of course, that the circuit layout will require a combination of several things. Big horsepower to hit the high speeds, probably up over 180mph. A car with a very adjustable ride height, as it’s not a race track, neither is it a rally stage. Plenty of underbody protection and the ability for the car to ‘fly’ as there are several ‘yump’ points that must be taken all four wheels off to maintain a good average.The driver could be either race or rally, so a co-driver would be optional at the team’s discretion.
UPDATE – Of course, the obvious choice for a crack at smashing the OIM TT car lap record is Sebastien Loeb and the Pikes Peak winning Peugeot. After his record run up Pikes Peak, he put the record so far oyt of reach that they were insoired to take the car and driver to Goodwood. Surely this is the car and driver to smash the OIM TT car lap record?
From a logistical viewpoint, the problems are mainly accident related. A superbike crash will be bad news for the rider. A high speed car ‘off’ would undoubtedly be very bad for the surrounding buildings and scenery……
Yes, I know we have the Manx rally, but come on, you’d love to see it, wouldn’t you? Dreaming for a moment, it could be the IOM version of Pikes Peak. Ask any car manufacturer with courage enough to have a go. “Bring your car, choose your driver, set a time..” The average speed on a motorcycle is currently over 130mph. That’s going to be one spectacular lap in a car.
So the question is, what would you like to see lapping the TT course and which driver would you like to see behind the wheel? My money would be on Sebastien Loeb in a Porsche 911 GT3R, what about you?
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