16 March 2007
PWRC: Q&A: Mark Higgins - EXCLUSIVE.
That is a bit of an awkward one that. Initially we all thought it was a spectator doing that, but it may have been that the gate was knocked by somebody, because it was on the left hand corner. It could have swung shut and then every time a car came through something happened. So it is hard blame that on spectators.
But, I suppose at the end of the day it should have been marshalled. If you look at the UK rallies, there is always a marshal on a gate, or it is tied back or taken down, to stop that happening.
What can be done to stop the problems that happened in Mexico - is it just a case of better marshalling?
Well the marshal control in areas where there were lots of people was good. One of the problems we did see quite a lot was stones placed in the road, which were definitely not put there by other competing cars. It was when you were out in the middle of nowhere and there were small groups of people around that it seemed to occur.
I don't know what they have got to do though. They need to educate the people. They put something like 16 or 17 people in jail for it. So that rumour will surely get around fairly quickly and people will realise how dangerous such actions are. The cars are doing 120 mph in places and if you throw a stone at a window it could be a disaster. I just hope they get it right and we are able to go back there again and have another WRC event in Mexico.
Apart from those incidents, the event went off quite smoothly though didn't it?
Yeah as I say, the whole atmosphere, the start, the finish, the service area, everything they have done was great. It was a real pity.
Changing the subject slightly, how are things gelling with Scott Martin, your new co-driver?
Scott has done a fantastic job and I am very, very impressed with him. He has got a very mature head on him for a young guy. He hasn't got massive experience in the WRC, but is very laidback and gets the job done. He is very well organised and it has been a very good partnership so far. It takes a few rallies to get into each other and I think we also clicked a bit more on this rally as well. I am now really looking forward to the next event with him. There is more to come.
Is the PWRC title now a realistic possibility?
It is not unrealistic now, whereas when we came away from Sweden we were pretty much on a downer. We are two points off the lead now and Anton Alen is the only other person in there who hasn't done two rallies, so he is obviously a threat. But we are 'there or there abouts'.
Greece will be a little bit of a lottery. We have then got two strong events at the end of the year [in Ireland and GB] and Japan, which we don't know a great deal about, so we will have to see how that one goes. This championship has always been pretty much wide open and if you can keep bagging points you will be well up there. But it is going to be tough.
The competition this year is probably the toughest it has been for a long time and I think the championship is very much underestimated anyway. A lot of the guys that have gone into this year have had a bit of a shock. Andreas Aigner, who obviously ran in a WRC car last year and Kristian Sohlberg, they are both realising how competitive it is. It is a hard championship.
You miss the next PWRC event in Argentina, as it's not one of your nominated events, but as you say, your next one is Greece, what's the plan for the Acropolis?
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