Two-time Legends Cars Champion Chris Grieve (Hexham) and three-time British Rally Champion Mark Higgins (Abermule) are the latest star names to confirm their participation in Legends Cars in 2023, adding yet more excitement and intrigue for the coming season.
Higgins, father of last year’s Legends Cars Rookie Champion Ben, is renowned for his exploits in the world of rallying with British crowns in 1997, 2005 and 2006. He also won the British Rallycross title in 2018 and, away from competition, is a hugely successful stunt driver with appearances in huge movies such as the James Bond films Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time To Die.
The Manx-born driver will contest the opening two rounds of the Legends Cars Championship with MRF Tyres at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire over the weekend 15th/16th April, piloting a car run by the Beaty Motorsport squad. As things stand Higgins is set for the season opener only, but more outings may be on the cards for later in the year.
Grieve, who was back-to-back Legends Cars Champion in 2006 and 2007, is to make a very welcome return to the pocket rockets with an entry into the British Touring Car Championship-supporting Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM, which starts at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit in May.
The Northumberland sportsman, who will utilise the same Beaty Motorsport car which Higgins will be racing at Cadwell, is aiming for maximum enjoyment on his return to the category – but is under no illusions as to the competitiveness of Legends Cars in 2023.
Since ceasing Legends action around 15 years ago, Grieve has carved out a highly successful career in motorcycle racing. Starting out on Mini Bikes, he stepped up to 600cc Supersport style machines in the Thundersport series and has also dabbled in the world of Sidecar racing.
“I wanted to have a play in Legends and this opportunity came up, and it’s a great chance to race with my son Ben – I hope he beats me! I’m only doing Cadwell Park for now as the date fits with my commitments work-wise, we’ll see what happens later in the year. Cadwell is more like a rally stage than a track, so I’m looking forward to it. I did do a couple of Legends races years ago but it’s been a long time, so I’ve no idea how quick we’ll be. It should be a lot of fun.”
“It’s fantastic to be back with the Legends and my aim is to just enjoy it, you’ve got to enjoy your racing first and foremost and got to make the most out of it. If I can finish in the top five in the Elite Cup I’d be over the moon, but everything has moved on since I won the championship – the level has moved on, the cars, and the tyres are different as well so I need to get adjusted to that. The biggest change back from the bikes I’ve been racing will be the braking, how you apply the brakes, so I need to get used to that again. I can’t wait to get back out there for my first test in the Legend.”
Phil Cooper – Legends Cars Championship and Legends Cars Elite Cup Owner:
“What fantastic news this is to have our former champion Chris Grieve back for the inaugural Legends Cars Elite Cup with JLM, and to also have a driver the calibre of Mark Higgins on the grid with us for the start of the Legends Cars Championship with MRF Tyres season.
“We have so much quality up and down the entry list for each category, but to now have Chris and Mark involved as well is quite special actually. There are two great stories waiting to unfold, with Chris a two-time Legends Cars Champion and Mark racing against his son Ben at Cadwell. What a treat we have in store.”