Turning right, again, the car runs to within what feels – and probably is – an inch or two of the barriers. Hard on the gas we’re past mile eight and through the left-hander which ended Milky Quayle’s career nine years ago.
“This is where I can make up some time on the bikes,” says Higgins.
It’s not hard to see why: it’s quick, bumpy and presumably a complete nightmare on a bike. Just before the village of Kirk Michael, Higgy points out the wall where Joey Dunlop used to leave a trail of paint from his crash helmet.
This really is the land of the legend.
“I’ll just back us up a little bit now,” says Mark, letting the Subarus (the ones driven by more normal folk who understand the true meaning of sensible) catch up.
“Come on!” he shouts, a grin spread wide across his face. “I’ve spent my life driving through here at 30mph. Not today.” Indeed.
Again, madness. The crowds are huge on either side of the road as we rocket past everyday houses on an everyday street.
Every now and then, Higgy sounds like he’s talking us around the corners. He’s not. He’s talking to himself.
“Three corners,” he says, “yellow line, yellow line, yellow line… good.”
Ballaugh Bridge is next. We catch some air, but not too much. Then Sulby. Straight. Very straight.
We’re into three figures. A couple of hours later, in the WRX STI Time Attack, he’s gunned at 168.6mph.
“The speed’s so high,” he says, “you have to be so careful you’re not carrying too much on the entry. It's trial and error; some of the time you’re backing off through the first corner to really nail the next one and take the speed onto the straight.”
For a lot of years, as a rally driver, Higgins wouldn’t have made the end of Sulby Straight, instead turning right onto the A14 at the crossroads.
“When I first came to do this in 2011, I really had to learn the section from Ginger Hall to Bungalow,” he says. Why? “Because I never really drove that road. When I was young we always went up over Tholt-e-Will because that was the road used on the car rally.”
But now he’s been through the road in and out of Ramsey a few times, he knows it well enough.
“This is one of the bumpiest sections of the circuit,” he says, “but there are some corners which are a bit more like the rally – you can throw the car in a bit here.”
Through the famous Ramsey Hairpin, up the hill and out through Gooseneck and we’re onto the mountain. The hedges have gone; replaced by fresh-air for run-off.
The Mountain Mile is dispatched in a moment, through the left at Casey’s and on past mile 29.
“I need to concentrate a bit here, I’m not happy with my line,” says Higgy. “This is where Conor Cummins went off…”
Verandah. Incredible. But that’s nothing to what’s coming.
We’re howling down the road, highest part of the track at 1300 feet, looking up at Snaefell.