Higgins upsets the favorites in New England Forest Rally

Episode 371

August 1, 2021

Upset in the Maine Woods

Back after a two-year hiatus, David Higgins, with folded arms, paired up with co-driver Craig Drew in the 2011 M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC pulled of the upset victory in the 2021 New England Forest Rally. His consistency combined with car placement brought the Ford home with a 36.8 second lead. (Photo by Bonny Thibeau Rollender)

David Higgins was not on the Subaru roster in 2019. The reason for his losing the ride I do not know. I suspect however, that he was very pleased with the results of the 2021 New England Forest Rally (NEFR). Former Vermont Sports Car team-mate Travis Pastrana, was leading the rally until SS12 when he hooked a tire on the edge of the road and flipped his Subaru only ¼ mile from the finish of the stage. He and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino were not injured in the crash.

In the lead with only 1/4 mile to finish stage, Travis Pastrana in the Vermont Sports Car Subaru flipped. Driver and co-driver Rhianon Gelsomino were okay. (Joel Sanford photo)

Higgins with longtime co-driver Craig Drew were only recently announced to be joining the McKenna Motorsports team. This was his first ride in the 2011 M-Sports built Ford Fiesta WRC with the 2.0-liter engine. The win elevated Higgins to the most successful driver in New England Forest Rally history passing John Buffum’s step-son Paul Choiniere who raced primarily in the 1990’s.


Higgins average speed for the NEFR was 75.39 mph with a winning margin of 36.8 seconds over Vermont Sports Car’s Brandon Semenuk and John Hall in their Subaru. Making the trip to the United States for the first rally was Irishmen Marty McCormack and co-driver Barney Mitchell in their McKenna Skoda Fabia R5+.

Nathan Sockalexis, left and driver/brother Robert celebrate their first place in the regional O4WD class at NEFR. The Old Town based team races a Subaru. (John Cassidy photo)

Finishing first in the regional Open 4-wheel drive class were Old Town’s Robert and Nathan Sockalexis in their Subaru. Rookie from Ellsworth, Tyler Saunders and William Doyle finished second in that same class in their Subaru. Mike White with co-driver Geoff Clark in their Saab 900 finished 5th in the L2WD class.

Camden’s Mike White with his Saab 900 finished 5th in the L2WD class. Geoff Clark was his co-driver. (Bonny Thibeau Rollender photo)

A rare and untimely catastrophic engine failure before the first stage relegated Bangor based Last Ditch Racing to Did Not Start (DNS) status. Left to right Hazen Grass, John Cassidy V, John Bolduc, John Cassidy IV, Jake Davee, and Daniel Charpentier. Despite the loss of their engine the team plans to be at the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb in two weeks. (Last Ditch Racing photo)

Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb next

The next event will be the Subaru Mt Washington Climb to the Clouds August 13-15, 2021. I hope to be covering that event. I think I have covered them all since 1990’s.

View of Super Chicken II as tested at Club Motorsports April 26, 2021. Paul Tignaud turned the 3rd fastest time of the day 1:26.44. This independent car builder/racer could be the one to defeat the high dollar factory teams. (Luke Moultrop photo)

Charlie Greenhaus, Enthropy Racing in action at Summit Point Raceway with his Generation 2 Electric Vehicle Sports Racer (ESVR). Greenhaus is bringing the electric battery powered ESVR to contest for a class win at Mt. Washington. (RP Performance photo)


Burger Boy Car Show 2021

The first Burger Boy Car Show hosted by new owner Dustin Mancos took place on July 31, 2021 at the popular Caribou eating spot. With the help of Gerald St.Jarre, President of the Northern Cruisers Auto Club, an estimated 30 cars were in full display under partly sunny skies.

Helping to organize the Burger Boy Car Show 2021 was Gerald St. Jarre, Madawaska. Jarre is the President of the Northern Cruisers Auto Club. Pictured is his 1984 El Camino SS (HTF Motorsports photo)

Caribou’s Kyle Tibbetts with his 2018 Kia Stinger GT1 twin turbo. This fine- looking ride will be at the Cumberland Motor Club Mega Autocross at Loring next weekend. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Thought a good before photo of Kyle Anderson, New Sweden’s 1974 260Z Nissan prior to its current restoration. His car changed hands many times and sat unrestored over the years until he purchased it 2020. (Kyle Anderson photo)

Dramatic change from photo one. Anderson’s Nissan has had all suspension bushings replaced, engine rebuilt, stress bars added, stereo system upgrade, and Viper Red paint by Michael Sullivan. (Kyle Anderson photo) 

Kyle Anderson looking over the straight six Nissan engine in his 1974 260Z at Burger Boy Car Show 2021. Will he show its handling prowess at the Mega Autocross at Loring next weekend? (HTF Motorsports photo)

Woodland’s Gerard Turcotte displays what he calls “old school” 1974 Nova SS nicknamed “Blast From the Past”. Purchased in 2018, Turcotte has brought the car back to life using many era specific parts rather than modern parts. The Nova features a 350 cubic inch engine with Edelbrock carb and intake, no headers however, since he wanted to keep the cast iron exhaust manifolds. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Caribou Fire Department’s 1945 American LaFrance fire truck restoration project. Caribou Firefighter Scott Michaud displayed the truck which because it was made during the war had no chrome. It has been owned primarily by the Caribou Fire Department with a brief stay at Stockholm Fire and with a couple private owners. The volunteers purchased the V-12 powered pumper in 2016 for restoration. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Caribou Fire Department’s 1945 American LaFrance powered by dual spark plug, dual distributor V-12 returns to its home after the Burger Boy 2021 Car Show. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Wyatt Alexander dedicates win at Beech Ridge to Greg Peters

Ellsworth’s Wyatt Alexander took win number two of the 2021 season at Beech Ridge Speedway Saturday evening. After receiving the checkered flag, he parked in turn three/four area. The pine trees are where Greg Peters who recently passed away, went sailing off into on his last race he ever ran giving him the nickname “Pine Needle” Peters. In the Victory Circle interview Alexander, a friend of the Peters family, could not keep his emotions in check. ( Chris Allen photo)

Busy motorsports weekend coming up

The busiest motorsports weekend in the County is coming up next weekend. The Cumberland Motor Club’s (CMC) Mega Autocross will be held at Loring August 6-8 with Friday’s session a “Test and Tune” Day. Saturday and Sunday will feature multiple runs on a Grand Prix style race course made of traffic cones. Most cars are eligible to compete as long as they meet the club safety standards. Entry fee is $40 per day but you must arrive by 7-7:30 am to register since racing starts at 9 am.

More information can be found at their website or on Facebook. They urge local resident to compete or come out to view the cars in action.

The Subaru owned by Ryan Wurfel and also driven by Caribou’s Matt Beaulieu was fast both days of the autocross. Wurfel from Brunswick, noted that his car, a 2010 Subaru WRX Hatchback features a built EJ255 block with a TD06 20G turbo Tuned by Baxley’s Speedshop in Windham. (Brandon Doughty photo)

Philip Winslow, Massachusetts, with his Dragon SR2 race car prepares for a run at Loring 2018. (HTF Motorsports photo)

http://www.cumberlandmotorclub.com/cmc/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/cumberlandmotorclub

Northern Maine Fair features Truck and Tractor Pulls Friday and Saturday evenings, Car Show Saturday and Sunday as well as a huge demolition derby Sunday with Tuff Trucks racing between demo derby heats.

One reason why people go to tractor pulls is the show that the wheel standing Super Stock tractors like this International Turbo put on. (HTF Motorsports photo)

Check out their website:


Let’s go racing!

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)


Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine