James Bond Stunt Driver Mark Higgins Celebrates 60 Years of 007 With Land Rover Defender Rally Special

Posted on 23 March 2022

Three-times British Rally champion will be in the driving seat for a round of the Bowler Defender Challenge to celebrate the famous film franchise
Land Rover, UK, 22 March 2022 – 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise and Land Rover is celebrating by entering a rally-prepared, liveried Defender 90 into the 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge with Mark Higgins competing in the North Wales leg on 26 March.
Higgins, a three-times British Rally Champion and Bond stunt driver will make his return to rallying with co-driver Claire Williams on 26 March in North Wales. Higgins has been at the wheel in four James Bond films – Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, Spectre and No Time to Die.
The Defender 90 features a trademark black and gold Bond livery. The stealthy looking vehicle also features a special 007 60th logo on its roof and sides.
New Defender features in the latest Bond release No Time To Die so it’s a fitting choice for Higgins, who has put his experience to the test in the previous four Bond films as a stunt driver.
Mark Higgins, James Bond stunt driver and rally champion, said: “The New Defender is a tough and capable vehicle when it leaves the production line and I’ve seen it perform really challenging stunts while on the set of No Time To Die. With the race ready enhancements made by the Bowler team and with Claire by my side we are confident we can have a great result.”
The competition-ready Bond Defender is based on a current Defender 90, powered by the P300 Ingenium powertrain. It features a host of safety modifications, including a full roll cage, enhanced cooling for the engine and transmission, a sports exhaust and new rear roof spoiler.
Other enhancements include strengthened 18-inch Bowler wheels with all-terrain tyres and a bespoke suspension design with modified subframes, new springs and unique turrets for increased stiffness.
Finbar McFall, Land Rover Brand Director said: “To celebrate Land Rover’s long-running association with the Bond franchise, our very own special agent will showcase the durability and all-terrain capability of Defender with a nod to its special appearance in No Time To Die .”
Regulated by the Motor Sports Association and operated by Bowler, the 12-team 2022 Tata Elxsi Bowler Defender Challenge is designed to act as a feeder series for global rally-raid competitions including the annual Dakar rally. Mark and Claire will compete on the gravel surfaces of Rally North Wales in Dolgellau on 26 March.

 History of Land Rovers in Bond movies since 1983

·       Octopussy (1983) – Range Rover Rapport Huntsman
·       A View to A Kill (1985) – Range Rover
·       The Living Daylights (1987) – Land Rover Series III, Land Rover Series III armoured, Range Rover
·       The World Is Not Enough (1999) – Land Rover Defender 90 custom
·       Die Another Day (2002) – Range Rover L322
·       Casino Royale (2006) – Range Rover Sport
·       Quantum of Solace (2008)– Ranger Rover Sport
·       Skyfall (2012) – Land Rover Defender, Land Rover Discovery 4, Range Rover L322 Series III
·       SPECTRE (2015) – Land Rover Defender Bigfoot, Land Rover Discovery Sport, Range Rover
·       No Time To Die (2021) – Land Rover Defender 2020, Land Rover Series III, Range Rover Series I, Range Rover Sport SVR

  • 60 years of James Bond: 2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. Dr. No was released on 5th October 1962.
  • Rally-ready Defender: A Land Rover Defender 90, with livery inspired by 60 years of James Bond films will be driven by 007 stunt driver Mark Higgins for the North Wales leg of the 2022 Bowler Defender Challenge on 26 March
  • Lasting partnership: Land Rovers have featured in famous James Bond scenes for nearly 40 years, from Octopussy in 1983 to the new Defender in No Time To Die*
  • Celebratory Defender:  One-off black and gold Defender livery celebrates the 60th anniversary of the franchise
  • Teamwork: Three-times British Rally Champions Mark Higgins returns to UK rallying alongside experienced co-driver Claire Williams
  • Defender toughness: 300PS Defender 90 features a range of competition enhancements including a fully integrated roll cage, bespoke performance suspension system, additional cooling and racing harnesses

Bowler Defender Challenge: the competition

The 2022 Challenge will run over seven UK-based rounds, with dates and locations to be announced later in the year. There are 12 entries available for the one-make series, with each team competing in identical Bowler-prepared Defenders. The series is open to veteran competitors and those with no competition experience.
For those with limited experience or none, Bowler can offer training and support to gain the necessary licence before moving directly to the series. The Challenge has been an ideal platform on which to gain motorsport know-how before joining other Bowlers and competing in rally-raid events across the globe.
For 2022 and beyond, the Challenge will continue to focus on delivering a fun environment that fosters the development of driving and competition skills yet retains the involving, engaging feel of a real motorsport family.
The competition calendar covers the UK and each Bowler Defender Challenge-equipped team will face a true mix of rally conditions. For each round there will be a full Bowler support team, with dedicated service areas. A hospitality area will help drivers and teams make the most of downtime and attend briefings throughout the events. The Challenge will enjoy full coverage through national and Bowler media channels.

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