The best of Colin McRae

The best of Colin McRae

The best of Colin McRae

by September 15, 2015

Today sadly marks the eighth anniversary of Scottish rally superstar Colin McRae’s death, killed in a helicopter accident along with his son Johnny and two family friends.

One of the greatest talents ever to sit in a rally car, McRae continues to be the biggest star the WRC has ever seen, his win-it-or-bin-it style endearing him to legions of rally fans all over the world.

There’s no better way to remember him than to remember what he did best, which was drive a rally car faster than it really wanted to go, so we’ve gathered together a collection of his finest moments.

1992 Rally Finland

McRae arrived on the world stage in a big way in 1992. He finished a sensational second in the snow of Sweden and followed that up with fourth on the rough-and-tumble Acropolis Rally.

But it was Finland that made him famous. Colin had a massive crash in testing, and followed that up early in the rally with an even bigger one. The car was rolling scrap, but he continued to drive it flat out, winning thousands of Finnish fans in the process.

1995 Wales Rally GB

Come 1995, McRae was battling for the world championship, and was incensed when Subaru ordered him to finish behind team-mate Carlos Sainz in the season’s penultimate round, Rally Catalunya.

Suitably fired up, McRae destroyed Sainz and everyone else on pure pace on his home event to become the WRC’s youngest ever title winner.

2001 Wales Rally GB

Once again Colin entered the season’s final round locked in a battle for the world championship, this time with his old nemesis (but good friend) Tommi Makinen and fellow Brit Richard Burns.

Unfortunately for Colin, his rally would end with an enormous accident on the first day, handing the title to Burns, but before that the Flying Scotsman was driving at unbelievable speeds. Below is one of the most amazing onboard videos ever recorded.

2005 Rally of the Lakes

Following his exit from the WRC, McRae indulged in some rallying for his own enjoyment, including a couple of round of the Irish Tarmac Rally Championship in his wild Ford Escort Mk II.

With 246kW pushing just 930kg and the sequential ‘box from the Focus WRC, it was no ordinary Escort and combined with Colin’s incredible talent, he gave a few modern World Rally Cars a fright on his ‘fun’ outings.

2005 Rally Australia

Colin’s WRC return came with Skoda of all teams, a last-minute replacement for the final rounds of 2005. Despite the Fabia WRC being an uncompetitive car, Colin was battling for second place when a routine clutch change went awry, costing the Skoda team its first podium finish since the 2001 Safari Rally.

2006 Donegal Rally

Another of Colin’s ‘just for fun outings’ was on the 2006 Donegal Rally, another round of the Irish Tarmac Championship. This time is was in the legendary MG Metro 6R4 Group B car, and Colin put it to good use, setting stunning stage times.

Despite a few very large moments, McRae once again kept the modern World Rally Cars honest in a car that had no business being that fast.

2006 X Games

One of Colin’s final competitive appearances only enhanced his fame, making him a massive star in the US. During the final for the rally segment of the Games, McRae was set for the gold medal before rolling heavily near the finish.

In true McRae style he merely selected first and dropped the clutch, missing the win by a mere 0.6sec. RIP Colin.