David Higgins and Ieuan Thomas have taken victory in Category 2 on their debut in the Dunlop Gambia British Historic Rally Championship.

The crew led the category from start to finish, in their Ford Escort Mk1, with the biggest scare coming before the event had even started after Higgins suffered a hand injury in the days before the opening round of the new campaign.

"I was at work doing some welding when a piece of metal pierced my hand two days before the rally," he said. "Thankfully it did not go the whole way through, but most of the way, leaving my fingers swollen and hard to move. When I was sitting in Accident and Emergency, the possibility of even starting the rally seemed far fetched."

However, having competed with broken ribs and a broken wrist in the past, the damage to Higgin's hand proved to be yet another injury which wouldn't stop him driving on the stages and he duly battled through the pain to secure the class win.

"We decided to start the rally and see how it went," he said. "The pain was excruciating but once I start a rally few things can stop me. The Escort was faultless and fantastic to drive, and the atmosphere and competition in the Historics field was fantastic.

"All in all, we've made a great move switching to this championship, and we can't wait to get out on the next round."