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Q&A: Mark Higgins - exclusive.


by Rob Wilkins

Eddie Stobart Motorsport driver, Mark Higgins has had a busy year thus far, and as well as contesting the British Rally Championship, he has also been taking part in various events in the World Rally Championship. Here speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio at the recent Rallyday he talks about his season to date and much, much more...



Q:
Mark, you are doing the BRC this year and some of the WRC events as well of course. Let's look at the BRC first of all, as that has been going really well for you, with a good run of wins.

Mark Higgins:
Yeah, it has gone very well for us, apart from the Rally of Wales, where we had an engine failure that was a bad start to the championship. But, since we have been with the Eddie Stobart team, it has been fantastic. We've had, I think, seven wins out of eight starts in the BRC. So we have just got to keep it going there, it is very easy to throw it all away. I know it is always difficult, even though when you are not fighting out and out with big competition, but the Irish rounds have been a real challenge for us and I am looking forward to going to Ulster.

Q:
What are your aims for that event?

MH:
They have got to be to try and win it, like we did last year. But it is getting quite difficult now with the modern machinery. I think Andrew Nesbitt is going to be very fast - it is in his back yard. We have got to think about championship a little bit too, but I think it still important to win the rallies.

Q:
We were talking to Malcolm Wilson prior to the Rally Finland and he was saying that your team-mate Matthew Wilson is doing well and could be back for Rally GB?

MH:
Yeah, actually he will be back for Ulster. He is doing a rally next weekend as well. So that is great news. He is going to be out most weekends now until the end of the year, getting himself back up and ready for the big one. He is really working really towards Rally GB.

Q:
You will have a bit more competition in the BRC then?

MH:
Yeah, definitely - the more the merrier. Let's bring them all on [laughs] ...makes it a lot more fun for us as well.

Q:
What are your aims for the rest of the year - its got to be to get the title in BRC, hasn't it?

MH:
Yeah, we can only really lose it now if we do something stupid. That is the plan. I can drop two scores. We may even be able to win it in Ulster, but that depends on what Austin [MacHale] does and what happens. We'd like to go to the other rounds and just enjoy the rallies. At end of the day, I really still enjoy driving these rally cars.

Q:
The Eddie Stobart name is obviously a good sponsor. Are they planning to continue next year or is that not known yet?

MH:
It's not known but, obviously, we hope so. They have made a massive investment so far, and it is starting to come to fruition. People are starting to really know what the Eddie Stobart team is. I think it would be a very big disappointment if they didn't come back again next year with all they have put into it. But you never know in this sport. As quickly as you have a drive, you can be without one altogether. We have got to make most of it and, as I say, I really enjoy driving the cars.

Q:
Turning to the WRC, it has not been such a good year there unfortunately, has it?

MH:
No. In the Group N championship, it has been a disaster again. We have had some good times and always been there or thereabouts, which has been very encouraging. The car is very good, it's just daft things happening really - the exclusion in Argentina and what happened in Turkey. It has just been a real nightmare.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jim Clark Memorial Rally winner, Mark Higgins
Mark Higgins / Trevor Agnew - Subaru Impreza STI
Mark Higgins
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Thierry Neuville, Nicolas Gilsoul (Hyundai i20 WRC, #7 Hyundai Motorsport)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Andreas Mikkelsen ,Ola Floene (Volkswagen Polo R WRC, #9 Volkswagen Motorsport II)
Jari-Matti Latvala,  Miikka Anttila (Volkswagen Polo WRC #2, Volkswagen Motorsport)
Dani Sordo (ESP) Marc Marti (ES), Hyundai I20 WRC, Hyundai Motorsport

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