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Double delight for Higgins brothers as David wins in China

In the same week his brother was breaking records in the Isle of Man, David Higgins and Ieuan Thomas overcame food poisoning to provide a thrilling finale to the Huairou Rally in China on Thursday and Friday.

This is the crew's first Chinese win of the year, after they narrowly missed out on the top podium position on the Jiangning Rally last month.

"It's not been easy this weekend," said David. "But that was nothing to do with the stages. Myself and Ieuan have both been ill all through the event with food poisoning. We did a great test of our Mitsubishi Evo9 at a kart track, and a good recce, then of course we got sick for the main event, and it was 40 degree heat which didn't help.

"But once we got in the rally car, the rally head takes over and you put your foot down. We were fastest on the first three stages and led until the rear diff seized in the fourth stage. The team changed it to a spare gravel spec diff in service, and we were fastest again on the next test – despite it being an asphalt rally. That left us 2.5 seconds ahead going into the last stage of day one, but an overshoot on a fast downhill section cost us the lead."

Overnight the crew lay second by 2.3 seconds. The WY Rally Team were kept busy as they had to rebuild the asphalt spec diff so it could be fitted for day two. Meanwhile, David and Ieuan were ill throughout the night, but kept up the pace on day two.

Showing the determination the crew have become known for in China, they were confident they could win going into the final stage – even though they were 6.7 seconds behind leader Jarkko Miettinen going into it.

"We had been 9.1 seconds faster than Jarkko through the stage being used as the final stage when it had run earlier in the day, so we knew a win was possible," said David. "This time round we beat him through by 10.3 seconds, so we took the win by 3.6 seconds".

David and Ieuan's win puts the WY Rally Team at the top of the points table for the teams championship in China, joint on points with the KST team.

The next round of the championship is the Fogang Rally in August.

Later in the weekend the celebrations continued for the Higgins family on Rally Isle of Man where David's brother Mark won for a record fifth time and his cousin Andy Leece finished tenth.

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