Collin McRae tribute
Between the lines .. tips , bookmakers , a sad news was everywhere this week … The great WRC champion Collin McRae died in a helicopter crash …Colin McRae was described as one of the most “exciting and spectacular drivers the world has ever seen” as the motorsport community struggled to come to terms with his death on Saturday after his helicopter crashed close to his Lanarkshire home.
Tributes poured in for the former world rally champion, who also became a household name worldwide through the PlayStation game Colin McRae Rally.
McRae became the first Briton to win the world rally championship in 1995 with Subaru, but had not held a full-time WRC drive since the end of the 2003 season when he parted company with Citroën. He subsequently undertook a number of one-off guest drives, most recently in last year’s Rally of Turkey, where he filled in for the injured Citroën driver Sébastien Loeb.
McRae helped Subaru win successive constructors’ titles in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and Richards, who was team principal at the time, added: “He was just so competitive and so extreme in everything he did, yet also great fun. He matured over the years to be a great pal. There was never a moment when he didn’t try 100% and it’s ironic that he walked away unscathed from so many rally accidents only for this to happen.”
Awarded the MBE by the Queen, McRae also tried his hand at truck racing in the Dakar Rally and competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours race. He also won the Race of Champions, an event in which the world’s top car racers compete over a specially built course in rally cars inside football stadiums. He had been due to partner the formula one driver David Coulthard in Team Scotland in the 2007 event and both were recently in London for its launch.
“He was fearless, flamboyant and blindingly quick in the car,” said Coulthard. “We had some great times and his passing is a terrible blow for the McRae family and everyone who came into contact with him. He was very down-to-earth, matter-of-fact that he was so good. He had all the good Scottish traits. I competed in the Race of Champions with him because of my respect for him – I remember him urging me on, telling me to get the finger out for Scotland.”
Another leading figure in Scottish motorsport, Sir Jackie Stewart, said: “It’s a sad loss for Scotland, of a real hero and an immensely popular friend.”
That popularity extended to the two-wheel code. After winning the MotoGP in Portugal yesterday an emotional Valentino Rossi, seven times the world champion, said: “I need to remember Colin McRae. I dedicate to him this victory because he is one of my idols.”
Close friends maintain that there was no correlation between the way that McRae flew a helicopter and the way he drove a rally car, ruling out pilot error as the cause of the accident. One friend said: “I have flown with many professional helicopter pilots, and Colin would have put them to shame. His attention to detail as a pilot was second to none.”
Collin s great numbers .. just a part of them :
British champion 1991-1992
World champion 1995; runner-up 1996, 2001; finished third in 1998
World Rally Championship rallies 146
Podium finishes 42 Stage wins 477
World Rally Championship points 626