Mark Higgins Subaru WRX STI sedan at Isle of Man

Subaru, a major sponsor of the Isle of Man TT for 2011, had no trouble whatsoever in setting a new four-wheeled lap record around the famed 37-mile mountain course on the remote British Isle. Driver Mark Higgins managed to circle the track in a WRX STI sedan in just 19:56.7 with an average speed of 113 miles per hour. Nicely done.

Turns out that record was set during a so-called practice lap, and it wasn't the only time Higgins had a go at the course in his Subaru. Not all of his runs were as uneventful as that practice lap. As you'll see in the two videos pasted after the break, Higgins' heroic driving skills were truly put to the test less than a minute into one of his runs.

Higgins barely manages to keep the lightly modified STI (for safety purposes, the car had a roll cage, race harnesses and a fire extinguisher that were thankfully not put to use) under control, calling his near-miss the "moment of his life." His passenger, Chris Cantle, stays remarkably stoic in the face of a 150-mile-per-hour fiery near-death crash. See for yourself in the video after the break.