BRC

Series profiles - Higgins and Thomas

In the second feature on 2008 BRC registered competitors, 2004 British Rally Champion David Higgins is in the spotlight with his vastly experienced and ever smiling co-driver Ieuan Thomas. Driver: David Higgins DOB: 14/11/1972 Lives:...

In the second feature on 2008 BRC registered competitors, 2004 British Rally Champion David Higgins is in the spotlight with his vastly experienced and ever smiling co-driver Ieuan Thomas.

Driver:     David Higgins

DOB: 14/11/1972
Lives: Trefeglwys, Mid Wales
Car: Subaru Impreza N14
Website: www.davidhigginsrally.com
Co-driver:  Ieuan Thomas

DOB: 03/11/1971
Lives: Blaenau, Carmarthenshire

David was born in 1972 on the Isle of Man. He now lives in Trefeglwys, Mid Wales, with his wife Kara and his children Alicia and Matthew.

The Higgins family operate "The Forest Experience Rally School". They teach rallying skills and give novice drivers the chance to experience the thrill of driving a rally car. David's grandparents, parents and of course his brother Mark have all been successful rally drivers.

As well as teaching in Wales, David travels the world doing 1-2-1 rally coaching and gravel note making in places like Peru, China, USA, Russia, Finland, Australia and France.

David got his first taste of motorsport in motorcycle trials when he was eight years old, and had moved into national kart racing by the time he was ten. David was a highly successful karter. He won seven titles against drivers including David Coulthard, and still karts today.

As soon as he got the chance David moved into rallying and was invited to drive in Richard Burns' team in the Peugeot 205 Challenge. After just one season he gained a works drive for Peugeot and won Class A5 in the British Rally Championship (BRC). He broke his neck in an accident in a works Escort in 1995, but recovered to take several BRC victories in the late nineties, including one 1600 and two Group N titles.

2001 was foot and mouth year, but David still took Group N victory on Rally GB after a fraught Formula Rally season. In 2002 he was the SCCA Pro Rally Champion in America and the British Group N champion again. The success led to a drive with the factory Mitsubishi team in America in 2003, David won six events, retained his SCCA title and helped Mitsubishi take the manufacturer's crown too.

For 2004 it was back to Britain where David won the opening round of the British Rally Championship in a Hyundai Accent WRC. His subsequent decision to contest the full season netted his first overall British Rally Championship title. He also helped Ralliart Hong Kong take the teams championship in China by winning two of the three events he contested.

Since starting rallying he has been involved in testing for manufactures including Subaru, Seat, Proton, Peugeot and VW, testing for Mitsubishi's WRC team in 2004 and 2005. 2006 saw him contest some World Rally Championship events, China Rally Championship (CRC) and BRC where he drove for Mitsubishi. He had some success, taking second N4 in Monte Carlo and second place team in the CRC.

2007 saw a move to a Toyota S2000 in the BRC and a continuation of his CRC campaigning in an Evo. Despite a second place on the Jim Clark, by Yorkshire he had swapped to a Subaru in which he took another two podium places. Overseas he took the China Rally Championship in style, winning every round in his Evo. In 2008 his FX Rallying outfit will be supported by TQ.com again, contesting the BRC in an Impreza N14.

His co-driver, Ieuan's vast 20 years experience in the co-driver's seat includes time spent in the British Rally Championship, the Chinese Rally Championship, the MSA Gravel Rally Championship, the Evo Challenge, the Irish Tarmac Championship, the Welsh National Forestry Championship, the Skoda Trophy Championship, Welsh Clubman's Forestry Championship and Welsh Road Rally Championship.

Ieuan also has experience of rallies from behind the scenes, having been Clerk of the Course on a Welsh championship road rally event. He has also spent time working for Mitsubishi Ralliart on Rally GB and Monte Carlo rallies as a gravel and ice-note collection crew, and spent two seasons with Peugeot Sport UK working as gravel crew for Justin Dale/Andrew Bargery in the BRC.

Other highlights of Ieuan's career include competing on Pikes Peak, co-driving for Hannu Mikkola on the RAC Rally, and competing all over the world including events in America, China, the Czech Republic, Finland and Africa.

Now part of the TQ.com team, Ieuan co-drives for David in the BRC and CRC, the pair having built a good relationship over the years.

-credit: rallybrc.co.uk

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Series BRC
Drivers David Coulthard , Jim Clark , Richard Burns , Justin Dale , David Higgins , Hannu Mikkola