2004 British Rally champion David Higgins has said he will do everything he can to ensure his team continues to compete in the MSA British Rally Championship this season.

Higgins announced this week that he is in a race against time to put together the necessary finances to compete in '09 following the late withdrawal of his main backer, TQ.com.

Speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio, he added that while it was definitely a big, big blow, he has no intention of shutting up shop, especially after all the hard graft he put in twelve months ago to establish the FX Motor Sports squad.

"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," he explained. "Unfortunately we only found out in the middle of last week that it was no longer going to continue. That has left things very late in the day - not only trying to get backing for FX but also in terms of exploring other avenues for myself, whether or not I decided to drive elsewhere.

"It has all just been very late. Hugh [Evans], my team-mate, he is still keen and trying to do a few events and he has got some fantastic contacts in the business world. He is doing everything he can to scrap together some budget to get out there. The intention is for us to be there again. But it is not a great time to be knocking on people's doors and asking for money.

"We put together some plans last week though and put some things in place. I think just to get ourselves there and doing it, without the testing and all the luxuries, and cutting down on people and things, we are probably 70 per cent of the way to be able to be doing something. But it is just so difficult.

"I have put absolutely every ounce of my time into this - the running of the team and setting it all up last year. It would be criminal to let it all go to waste. However, at the same time you still need to earn a living. You need to put food on the table for the kids and the family.

"It is not an easy time at the moment. You sometimes feel if you put the same effort into a 'real job' we would all be millionaires now. But our passion is motorsport and rallying and that is the way we have gone. You have just got to keep your head down and keep on working hard."

Asked about 2008, Higgins added that while he enjoyed running his own team, all the politics that dogged the British championship last year did make it very difficult.

Indeed he feels one of the major reasons TQ.com pulled the plug was to do with all the shenanigans that went on away from the stages and even now it still hasn't been confirmed who won the 2008 BRC drivers' and teams' championships titles.

"It [the politics] is one of the major factors why we have lost TQ," he continued. "We had a big board meeting and TQ wanted to find out where we finished and did we win the teams championship or didn't we. When you actually have to go there and say: 'Actually, we haven't a clue'. It is majorly embarrassing.

"The situation, regardless of what happened, should never have got this far. It should have been done and sorted once and for all and left like that. It devalues the championship when you don't even know the result.

"We once said jokingly, just after the Trackrod, that you will probably know who wins the 2009 championship before the 2008 one. It is looking pretty much like that.

"All the pre-season DVDs, the presentations, last year it was 50 years of TQ as a company - the same as 50 years of the BRC - and we had some big plans to do something together at the prize-giving. But when there is nothing to give out and you don't know where you have finished, you can't even try and get people involved in that.

"It has made it really, really difficult. It has not made it any easier to go to new sponsors now either and say we may be teams' champions, we may not. It just looks like a very cheap championship."

Despite all that though, Higgins isn't giving up and he remains hopeful: "We will just get busy now and get fighting and see if we can come out ready for the new season," he summed-up.

"The plan we have got now is rather than trying to find one big sponsor, is to look for four companies, who can maybe put in a ?1000 per rally. That would make up the shortfall in the budget. Realistically it is a lot easier to ask for that than go for the big: 'I need ?20,000 can you help?' We are confident we will get out there. It is just going to be a lot more of a struggle than it was in recent years."




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