It’s the start of ‘Race Week’ at one of the most exciting motorsport events anywhere in the world: the infamous, incredible Isle of Man TT.

The island is buzzing with the zap of motorbike engines; its fields crammed full of the campers and tents of the thousands of spectators who make the trip here every year to watch so many riders put everything on the line.

And this year, not just riders. As you read these words, ex-British rally champion Mark Higgins may very well be on his way to becoming the fastest man to drive around the island’s spectacularly scary mountain road. Again. Higgins has just left the paddock in his 2014 Subaru WRX STi, with the intention of breaking his own lap record – set in 2011, in a different Subaru Impreza STI. 

Very few drivers could be here today, trying what Manxman Higgins is trying. Three years ago, according to Subaru, the TT’s organisers had been told that Subaru’s run would be ‘demo only’: no timing involved. Apparently, they didn’t take the surprise very well. So since then, Higgins and Subaru have had a steep uphill struggle getting another timed attempt approved. Special measures have been taken to keep spectators, marshals and Higgins himself safe: grandstands moved, barriers reinforced.