Having previously announced that he would be driving for Albatec Racing in at least the opening two rounds of the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship, Mark Higgins took time out to talk to The Checkered Flag about the deal and also his hopes for the future with the team.
The three-time British Rally champion first admitted that he chose to make a return to Rallycross after seeing some of his fellow rally rivals make the move: “When you look at World Rallycross, you see drivers like Petter [Solberg] and Sebastien [Loeb]enjoying themselves driving 600hp Supercars. It has a bit of rallying mixed with a bit of racing as well!”
“It’s good that we’re a British team with the potential to enter the World Championship – this is something that hasn’t often happened in WRX. And the fact that there is no recce involved makes it sound great!”
Higgins has competed in Rallycross before, having made a previous one-off RX150 appearance, but 2018 is set to be his first season in Supercar and he explained how the deal with Albatec came about:
“It all happened because of a mutual friend between me and Andy [Scott]. We then tried to organise a test and it all went from there. Albatec are the premier Rallycross team in the UK. They have a great car and have great experience.”
“Add in the deal with the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering and it was all appealing for me. It felt like it all clicked together!”
Asked about his aims for the season and the idea of working with students from the NCME, Higgins admitted that he is hoping that his vast experience can help the team to keep improving throughout the campaign, “I’m hoping for a bit of everything and hoping to be able to give my input when we’re testing the car.
“It really excites me that a great engineer could come out of this project. It’s going to be really exciting what we can do as a team. If this helps a few young lads come along and improve, it’s definitely something that ticks a box for me.”
“We’ll see how we get on in BRX this year. We are ultimately aiming for World Rallycross. Both me and Albatec want to do something for the long term!”
Finally, away from his new rallycross exploits, Higgins was asked about a potential return to the Isle of Man after breaking his own record for a lap in a car back in 2016, but unfortunately, he said that this is not going to happen in 2018: “We’re definitely trying to get back to the Isle of Man record, but unfortunately it isn’t that straight forward. It won’t happen this year.”
Round one of the 2018 Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship will take place on the new Silverstone Rallycross circuit on March 17.