American Rally legend’s son Higgins stuns in karting

Matthew Higgins, 15-year-old son of 10-time American Rally champion David, is showing inherited rallying skills on track


Impressing a dad like 10-time American Rally Champion David Higgins is no mean feat – but 15-year-old Matthew Higgins has managed it in 2020.

Higgins Jr has enjoyed his strongest karting season yet, with a podium on 10 of his 13 British Rotax Max series races.

“It’s been a good season,” the teenager told DirtFish, modestly. “I started the year winning the senior class in Belgium. That was cool, I was the youngest winner and took all the heats and finals. Here [in Britain] I took the Junior Rotax Max title and the last round was a lot of fun.”

A lot of fun to the Team Dan Holland Racing driver was a nine-second win in mixed conditions.

Higgins Sr was impressed.

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Photo: British Karting Championship

He said: “When you have those kind of mixed conditions you are relying a lot on natural feel for the grip and an understanding of what the kart and tire are doing. Matt really showed he’s a bit of a rally boy at that last one!”

Beyond the full-time step up to senior-level racing and potentially more European kart outings, another target for next year is the step from karts to cars.

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Photo: British Karting Championship

“It could be racing or rallying,” said David. “What concerns me most is the financial aspect – the cost of going from karts into rallying is huge. He wants to go and do some testing, maybe some rally cars and some single-seater stuff, then we’ll see.

“One of the problems we’ve had is that, because of coronavirus, I haven’t been able to work since March. Really we’ve run this year on the good will of our sponsors – including DirtFish, ManagedWay Global CrossKart, Arai Helmets and Minus 273. He couldn’t have achieved what he’s achieved this year without them.”

Impressive as Matthew’s 2020 has been, he’s still got a way to go to outshine his father: five years ago David Higgins won eight from eight Rally America rounds with Subaru USA. Through the 2014 and ’15 seasons, Higgins won 14 events on the bounce.

David Higgins - Action

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Despite massive success in rallying – including wins and titles on three continents (America, Europe and Asia) – Higgins Sr says nothing compares to the feeling of seeing Matthew winning.

“It’s true,” he added. “I was fortunate enough to enjoy a lot of wins in rallying – and who knows, there may be more to come – but watching Matthew this year really has topped all of that. We’re a real family team with his mum and sister Lissy coming on all the weekends away racing. Through all the difficulties with COVID this year, it’s been a very special one for us.”

Higgins’ first task next year will come at the karting Rotax (MAX) Challenge Grand Final next month. His British title netted him a place on the Team GB team, where the best in the world come together in Portugal.

Words:David Evans