The British rally driver David Higgins is one of the most decorated drivers in his country although he has won more championship titles in other countries than in the UK.
He is the ten-time North American rally champion (two times in the SCCA ProRally, six times in the Rally America and two times in the ARA championship), two-time Chinese rally champion and one-time British rally outright champion. To this numbers, he added three more British N4/Production class championship titles early in a career.
In the World Rally Championship, David Higgins recorded 18 starts but without notable success. His older brother Mark Higgins (born in 1971) is also a rally driver, whose greatest achievements are the third place in the Production class of the World Rally Championship in 2007 and the lap record for a production car at Isle of Man circuit.
Born on the famous Isle of Man
David Higgins was born in November 1972 on the Isle of Man. As the island is most famous because of the famous Isle of Man TT motorcycle race, it was natural for David to start his career as a kid in motorcycle trials.
He then switched to karting competitions and finally debuted in rallying in 1992. His first rally car was a Peugeot 205 GTI, which he was driving alongside navigator Michael Park, who later made a significant WRC career until unfortunate death in 2005.
First title in 1993, WRC debut in 1994
Driving a Peugeot 205 GTI with Michael Park in navigator's seat, Higgins captured his first championship title in the 1993 Peugeot Challenge. In 1994, Higgins made a debut in the World Rally Championship, driving a Peugeot 106 Rallye in the Network Q RAC Rally.
Michael Park stayed with Higgins for one more season, over the 1995 season in the Ford Escort RS 2000. At 1995 RAC Rally, Higgins was driving Honda Civic, finishing 27th overall and the first in the N2 class. He stayed in a Honda Civic for one more season, finishing fifth in the 1996 British Rally Championship.
First national championship title in 1997
In 1997, Higgins switched to Subaru Impreza WRX, immediately becoming the British rally champion in the N4 class. His co-driver in most events was Chris Wood.
That year, Higgins participated in two WRC events with two different cars. At Rally Australia, he was driving Rover Mini Cooper, not finishing the race. At RAC Rally, he was in a cockpit of a Seat Ibiza Kit Car, finishing 31st overall and 4th in the A7 class.
David Higgins in a Subaru Impreza in 1998
PWRC podium in 1998, one more British title in 1999
In 1998, Higgins continued to drive Subaru Impreza WRX in national events, one ERC event (Ypres Rally) and one WRC event (RAC Rally). He reached a podium at RAC Rally, finishing second in the Production class.
In 1999, he became the Production class champion in the British Rally Championship, driving a Subaru Impreza with Chris Patterson as a navigator. He was driving Impreza at RAC Rally, not reaching the finish. He also appeared in the Chinese WRC round, driving a Volkswagen Jetta WTX.
Production class victory at 2001 RAC Rally
In 2000, Higgins returned to a cockpit of a small Peugeot, driving a Peugeot 106 Maxi in the British Rally Championship and finishing fifth in the A6 class. He also contested some events with Subaru Impreza and Ford Puma Kit Car.
In 2001, Higgins participated in rallies all over the world, including American SCCA Pro Rally championship, Russian championship and British championship. His greatest success was a Production class victory and 11th place overall in British WRC event with Subaru Impreza WRX.
Two championship titles in 2002
In 2002, Higgins was a double champion, driving Subaru Impreza both in the British Rally Championship and SCCA Pro Rally series. His co-driver for most of the season was Daniel Barritt. In Britain, Higgins was N4/Production class champion, scoring four wins during the season,
In the US, he was a dominant driver with four wins to take his first of many championship titles across Atlantic. Higgins ended a season at RAC Rally, driving a Subaru Impreza S5 WRC but not finishing the race.
2003 - defending SCCA Pro Rally title in a Mitsubishi
In 2003, Higgins managed to defend his SCCA Pro Rally title, driving a Mitsubishi for the first time. His car was the #1 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, in which he and Daniel Barritt scored seven wins to dominantly take the championship trophy. Outside the US, he participated in some Mexican and Canadian events but without notable success.
2004 – British rally champion in a Hyundai Accent WRC
In 2004, Higgins returned to the UK, entering the national championship in a Hyundai Accent WRC. Using services of different co-drivers, Higgins became the Open class British champion, scoring just one victory. Outside the UK, he participated in few Chinese rally events in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, winning the Rally Beijing and helping Mitsubishi to take teams' title.
In the following two seasons, Higgins scored no championship titles. In 2005, he was driving Opel Corsa S1600 and Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VIII, participating in two WRC events (Turkey and Wales). In 2006, he was second in the PWRC class at Rallye Monte-Carlo, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII.
Higgins captured Chinese championship titles with Mitsubishi
Two championship titles in China
In 2007, Higgins moved his focus to China, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for Wan Yu team and winning the championship title. His navigator was Ieuan Thomas. At 2007 Wales Rally GB, Higgins finished 19th overall and fifth in the PWRC class, driving a Subaru Impreza STi.
In 2008, Higgins was combining Mitsubishi in China and Subaru in the UK, finishing third in the British championship. In 2009, he was Chinese champion again, driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX for Wan Yu team. His last season in China was 2010.
David Higgins and Subaru - unbeatable combination for six seasons
Six consecutive championship titles in Rally America
In 2011, Higgins joined Subaru Rally Team USA in the Rally America championship series. Driving the #75 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, together with navigator Craig Drew, he started an unprecedented winning streak of six championship titles.
Craig Drew was his partner in all six championship-winning seasons. In total, they scored twenty-nine rally wins (2011 - three, 2012 - three, 2013 - three, 2014 - seven, 2015 - eight, 2016 - five).
While dominating in the US, Higgins returned to WRC in 2015, participating in the Wales Rally GB with Subaru Impreza WRX STi. He finished 20th overall and 8th in the RC2 class.
David Higgins joined Subaru Rally Team USA in 2011
Occasional rallycross participations with Subaru
In recent years, while driving for Subaru in Rally America, Higgins also recorded few participations in the US-based Global Rallycross Championship. He was most active in the inaugural season in 2011, participating in four events and scoring two podiums.
He had one-off GRC appearances in 2012 and 2014. In 2015, he took part in three GRC rounds and then again in two rounds in 2016.
David Higgins in 2016
Two ARA championship titles in 2017 and 2018
In 2017, the American Rally Association (ARA) took over the North American Rally Cup. David Higgins continued his domination in the #75 Subaru, navigated by Craig Drew. He won three times and added three more second-place finishes to take the ARA title in 2017.
In 2018, Higgins increased a number of wins to four and captured his eighth consecutive rally title in the North America.