Land Rover team wins Defender Challenge Round 2

Land Rover’s own team won Round 2 of the Defender Challenge, on the gravel surfaces of Rally North Wales in Dolgellau.

Mark Higgins and Claire Williams with the 007-inspired Bowler Challenge 90

by Theo Ford-Sagers |

With rally champ Mark Higgins at the wheel and Clair Williams co-driving, the pair finished 1 min 41 secs ahead of the second-placed team (Beecroft/Gillespie). That gave Land Rover's 'Bowler Team 2' an impressive lead, they've still got some catching up to do. Because they didn’t enter the first round of the Defender Challenge, their total score is only 61.

Leading the championship with 110 points at the end of Round 2 is the Thwaites/Cumings duo who won the first round.

Higgins won the British Rally Championship three times – in 1997, 2005 and 2006. He has also been behind the wheel as a stunt driver in the last four James Bond films. Williams won the Junior and Overall championships in 2013.

The 90s used in the Defender Challenge are based on the latest Defender with the P300 Ingenium engine and automatic transmission. Bowler’s upgrades include better cooling for the engine and gearbox, a full roll cage, modified subframes, high-performance exhaust, new springs and stronger spring turrets, and 18in rims with all-terrain tyres.

Like all other cars in the championship, the winning Defender is a Bowler Challenge 90, but with a unique livery on its roof and sides to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the 007 Bond franchise.

Land Rover made this short film to mark the occasion…

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