Colin McRae

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

For his first on-track race event, ‘McCrash’ chose the BTCC, at Knockhill in 1992. He was focused on rallying, but when the lights turned to green… Words: Anthony Peacock. Photography: LAT

At the time of the British Touring Car Championship’s first visit to Knockhill, Scotland in July 1992, the most famous McRae was Colin’s father Jimmy – thanks to his five British Rally Championship titles. Colin was more spectacular but less consistent, frequently living up to his nickname of ‘McCrash’.

The raw speed was undeniable, though, which persuaded Prodrive to groom him for future stardom in the World Rally Championship with Subaru. At the same time, Prodrive was running BMW’s BTCC effort with drivers Tim Sugden and Alain Menu – plus an occasional third car. It didn’t take long for Prodrive boss David Richards to suggest putting McRae in the guest car for his home event.

“I didn’t really pay it a great deal of attention, as at the time I was totally focused on rallying,” says McRae. “We were just starting to do some World Rally Championship events with Subaru, and that’s what I was excited about.”

Such was McRae’s insouciance that he didn’t even test the BMW 318is until the day before qualifying. It was the first time he had sampled any sort of racing car.

BMW’s race team manager at the time was Tom Hunt, who would go on to become Subaru’s test team manager. Hunt remembers: “Colin was really quite blasé about the whole thing. At the time we were running ABS, and Sugden and Menu were saying during the test that they couldn’t brake over the bump. Colin told them ‘if you want to brake there, just brake there’. He maintained that he’d be better off without the ABS so we removed it for one of the sessions. Within three laps he’d put it into the gravel.”

McRae had one big advantage: he had lapped Knockhill several times in cars and on bikes, whereas for most of the regular drivers it was a new experience. McRae qualified in 15th place, and worked his way up to eighth.

Race two held a lot more potential from the outset. A rain shower meant that it was declared a wet race, but this didn’t worry McRae. For most of the race he followed Matt Neal’s older-shape BMW M3, which was faster on the straights but slower through the corners.

“Over the course of a lap I was definitely faster than him, so I was determined to try and find a way past,” remembers McRae. “Then, at the hairpin, he seemed to brake harder than usual, and there was absolutely nowhere for me to go. I couldn’t help giving him a tap. I kept going and he didn’t. I thought that’s what touring cars were all about anyway!”

However, that was not what Matt Neal thought. Nor his 6ft 7in father Steve, who was threatening to: “find McRae, rip his head off, and shit down his neck.”

The object of his wrath remembers: “Matt was none too pleased, but Steve was definitely the spokesman. The quickest I went all weekend was probably the run back to the motorhome after the race…”

Related articles

Related products