Chinese Rally Championship frontrunner David Higgins was left devastated on Sunday when he was stripped of his Longyou Rally points win.

Although Higgins and co-driver Ieuan Thomas finished the event second overall behind APRC driver Cody Crocker, they picked up top points in the Chinese Rally Championship section - but on the way back to service they encountered problems.

"We had lost 45 seconds with a spin on the first day, so to take top points was great," said Higgins. "But then we encountered fuel pressure problems on the way back to service. A crew car came out to try to help us thinking we were out of the rally, but our car slowed down as the crew car got near us, and the crew car ran into the back of us very hard. We were only about 500 metres away from the service park when it happened."

A rival team then put in a protest because a crew car had been seen so close to Higgins and Thomas. As a result of the protest the pair were excluded from the rally.

Had David's win stood, he would have won the team championship title for the WY rally team. Now the team title will go down to the wire on the final round in China in December.