The 800th post on The Amazo Effect
On 6 June 1990 Tony Pond completed the first ever lap of the famous Isle Of Man TT motorcycle course at an average of over 100mph in a car - a Rover 827i Vitesse, standard apart from a safety harness, a fire extinguisher and racing tyres.
Back in 1988, Pond missed the 100mph average by a mere six seconds, but he returned with an ‘unmodified’ Rover Vitesse in 1990 and successfully beat the magical target; the actual average being 102.19mph with a lap time of 22 minutes 9.1 seconds. Although his in-car commentary is dead-pan, listening to what he says is riveting, giving the viewer a true insight into a driving genius’ mindset.
As a marketing effort, the 100mph lap was masterful, although Rover’s assertion that the car was standard was I feel stretching it a little bit. Mind you, even if the exhaust - which apparently made the Vitesse sound like a Honda NSX - wasn't standard and might have added a little power, it doesn't distract from the scale of this achievement in a car that was never really renowned for its agile handling.
The record stood until 2011, when British rally driver Mark Higgins in a standard Subaru WRX STI set an average speed of 115.3mph with a lap time of 19 minutes 37.4 seconds.
- Mr Fabulous