Shortly after the 2017 Geneva Auto Show, Subaru with the help of Mark Higgins and Prodrive racing team, pull off a stunt that no one has ever done before, leaving the people with goosebumps, heart palpitations, and jaws dropped to the floor.
Mark Higgins, who hails from the Isle of Man, started his motorsport career at the age of nine as he took up karting. He then became a professional at the age of 17 after being noticed by Roy Dixon for his talent. Since then, he has competed in a range of motor sport activities such as karting and trail biking.
The three-time British Rally Champion (1997, 2005 & 2006), was also the stunt driver in a couple of James Bond films namely Quantum of Solace and Skyfall, plus many other film and TV sequences. He is also the record holder of the Snaefell Mountain Course at the Isle of Man TT - but take note, he drove a Subaru WRX STI, instead of a motorcycle.
Higgins proved himself again as he swiftly went down the 113-year-old Olympic bobsled track in the Swiss Alps. This is the oldest natural ice track in the world, and is maintained yearly by an Italian family. This track is known for its huge elevation changes, and its infamous Horse Shoe turn. But again, instead of using a bobsled, he took with him a Subaru STI. Sounds like a pretty fun track if you have the skills and the right car.
Of course, the car had to be customized to fit the track because it is much narrower than a normal track. And that’s because it is made for a bobsled, and not for cars. So in order to drive the car through the track, Prodrive had to take out the side mirrors of the STI as there isn’t enough room for that. It also added bonded bumpers to the front and rear of the car’s exterior. Plus, they had to put in a set of 135-section tires, with titanium-tipped studs to improve traction on ice.
So what made this stunt even crazier was when minutes into the track, people thought the car was about to go 180°, as it literally raced on the narrow walls of the track for a few seconds, before sliding back down to the ground. There was unquestionably a moment of silence for everyone watching him live. And the car was in one whole piece as it continued to the stopping zone. Just imagine, if Higgins didn’t have enough control of the car, and was off for a few inches, the car would definitely flip. Luckily, this guy is a pro!
If you didn’t know Higgins, you probably would not expect this calm, soft spoken guy to be doing crazy car stunts like this. Oh, we’ll never look at bobsledding the same way again.