1997 British Rally Champion, Mark Higgins is set to swap his Ford World Rally Car for a 590 brake horse powered Lamborghini Diablo GTR this weekend (August 25/26), when he takes to the cockpit of the VIP Car for Donington Park's round of the Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy. One of Britain's leading rally drivers, Higgins will be following in the footsteps of French F1 legend, Rene Arnoux when he takes time out of his schedule to drive the Lamborghini. He will be partnered by Autocar journalist, Stephen Sutcliffe as they contest the fifth round of the series.
Based in Newtown, Wales, the Manxman is on the brink of breaking onto the world rallying scene after a disappointing year hindered by the Foot and Mouth crisis which has all but crippled British rallying. Higgins is delighted to take up the challenge of driving the Lamborghini commenting: "I'm really looking forward to taking the Bull by the Horns at Donington. Coming from the Isle of Man, I love tarmac driving, but my racing experience it somewhat limited! I expect it will all come flooding back once I feel nearly 600 horse power under my right foot."
30-year-old Higgins follows a succession of world renowned sportsmen in the race-going version of a V12 Lamborghini Diablo GT. The opening round of the Lamborghini Supertrophy in Melbourne saw former Motor Cycle World Champion, Wayne Gardner take to the race circuit in support of the F1 Grand Prix in March whilst World Downhill Skiing Champion, Luc Alphand took his turn in the VIP car at Monza.
Rene Arnoux, veteran of 149 F1 races, drove his first competitive race since1995 when he partnered a Le Figaro journalist in the Lamborghini VIP car at the Magny Cours circuit with the pair taking a third place podium position.
The Lamborghini GTR Supertrophy is currently in its sixth year of running and welcomes both professional and gentlemen racing drivers. Professionals the calibre of Jean-Marc Gounon and Emmanuel Clerico team up with their respective partners and it is generally the best pair, not the best individual, who takes home the winners' trophies.
This weekend's race programme sees a grid of approximately 20 Lamborghini GTRs lock horns as they battle for position on the 2.5-mile Donington Park circuit. Practice (10:30-11.30am), qualifying (2:30-3:00pm) and the first of two races (5:15pm) take place on Saturday 25th August with the second of the two 50-minute races commencing at 11:45am on Sunday 26th.