For all of his experience behind the wheel of a rally car, you’d think that Subaru Rally Team USA’s David Higgins would be comfortable driving on any kind of surface. After all, Higgins has a Rally America title, a pair of SCCA Pro Rally Championships and no less than four British Rally Championships to his name.
He’s also the fastest man up Mt. Washington, a title he grabbed with last June’s 6:11.54 run up the mountain. Despite this impressive competition resume, Higgins called last weekend’s Sno*Drift Rally a “huge challenge,” due to the “unpredictable surface conditions and our lack of experience in winter rallying.”
Higgins and co-driver Craig Drew overcame that challenge, finishing first in the opening event of the 2012 Rally America series. The pair took an early lead and finished the event nearly two minutes ahead of the second place Rockstar Energy Mitsubishi driven by Antoine L’Estage and Nathalie Richard.
The video above gives an idea of just how slick the icy and snow-paced course was. Higgins’ hands are constantly moving on the steering wheel, in an attempt to keep his Subaru pointed in the direction intended. As Rally America doesn’t allow studded tires, traction on hard packed snow and ice is limited, at best.
Next up in the Rally America series is the 100 Acre Wood Rally in Salem, Missouri, on February 24 and 25. Mud has traditionally been more of an issue than snow for this event, but at least that’s a surface Higgins is much more familiar with.