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2004 British Rally champion David Higgins launched his own team last year and he enjoyed a successful season in the BRC, provisionally finishing third in the standings and notching up five podiums in total. Crash.net Radio's
Rob Wilkins caught up with the FX Motor Sports man recently and got his thoughts on the year just gone and discussed how things are looking for 2009 after the exit of main backer, TQ...
David, before we talk about the coming season, let's discuss 2008. You finished third overall provisionally in the standings, how would you sum it up?
A political nightmare - what started off looking like a great year just got harder and harder as it went on. You didn't really know where you stood on things. It left quite a big down on the whole season. I think everyone was quite pleased to see the back of it and move on.
On the positive side it was the first year of running for the FX Motor Sports team and everyone involved in it did a really good job. From that side of things it was very rewarding.
Given what the weather was like, how tough was the final event, the Wales Rally GB?
It was obviously mega tough. It is one of those things. People say: 'Years ago drivers' use to go through the stages and never complain as much'. But things were very different. Like the fact that when we had snowy Rally GB events in the past you had a chase car - a vehicle at the end of every stage that could bolt the car back together again. You had different tyres for every stage if you wanted as well. These new control tyres for the WRC are so hard. We did the recce and I thought it was really bad, but not impossible, just very different. However, once we got to the stage with the actual rally cars with the proper tyres I went off twice before I even got to the start! It was tough but it was the same for everybody. I am glad they ran as much as they did.
On the safety side though, you have got to look into the situation if somebody goes off and they can't get a safety crew in, then the question is going to be asked: 'Why was it ran in the first place?' It is not the fact that the drivers don't want to do it. It has got to be if somebody does get hurt - whether that is a spectator or a competitor - you need to be able to get the safety crews in to them.
It has been confirmed recently that TQ.com won't back your team in the BRC again this season. When did you find that out and how difficult will it be now for you to get the required backing?
It is going to be mega difficult. But firstly I am just thankful for what we have had from TQ. They have backed me since the 2006 Rally GB, which is a long time for a sponsor.