Mark Higgins has said that it was a 'team effort' that allowed him to win the International Rally Isle of Man last weekend, the latest round in the 2009 MSA British Rally Championship.
Higgins eventually beat championship rival Keith Cronin by over a minute, after the Mitsubishi man picked up a late puncture. Prior to that though, Higgins and Cronin had both been pushing to the maximum with little to choose between them, and both suffered their own mechanical issues that dropped them back.
Indeed on day two Higgins saw his advantage nullified when he had to have a new gearbox fitted. A great effort though by Pirelli TEG Sport got him back out and in the end he came through to take his fifth Isle of Man triumph.
Speaking at the finish, Mark was clearly delighted, as the result not only makes him the most successful in the events history, but it also puts him level on points with Cronin at the top of the BRC drivers' standings.
“This was one of the toughest events for us all and a tough win,” Higgins reflected, “but a great team effort got us the result we needed to keep the championship alive.
“Yet again Keith put up a great fight that had us driving a little more than flat out on occasions!! To get a record breaking fifth win on my home event was also a very special moment.”
Adam Gould meanwhile had an eventful rally in the sister car and despite hitting the banking in SS2, which required major repairs in service, he was on the pace all day and pushing for a podium. However on the second day, Gould rolled his car 5.5 miles into the Newtown test and was unable to continue.
Pirelli TEG Sport team boss, Stuart Newby had mixed feelings at the finish: “The weekend has had its highs and lows, but to achieve the win with Mark makes it all worth while. Without the fantastic lads in the TEG Sport team none of this would have been achievable,” he summed-up.
“Adam's departure and roll on the event was unfortunate, but when you are pushing for the results this is what can happen.
“The main thing was that his times were up there at the top, and Adam has gained a lot of experience on the tarmac to take to Ulster. A few valuable lessons have been learnt too about taking corners in too high a gear!!”
The Pirelli TEG Sport team will now head to the next event, the Toddsleap.com Ulster Rally at the end of month with a 31-point lead in the BRC teams' classification.