Stars out for McRae

Four of the greatest Rally drivers will honour the memory of Colin McRae by contesting the McRae Stages in September at the wheel of Ford Escort Mk2s.

Ari Vatanen, Stig Blomqvist, Hannu Mikkola and Björn Waldegård will all compete on the Scottish event in tribute to fellow former World Champion McRae, who died in a helicopter accident last September.

Vatanen won the 1981 world title in an Escort Mk2 and will be reunited with his co-driver David Richards and team manager David Sutton from that campaign when he drives a Group 4 Escort Mk2 RS1800. It is a rare outing in an Escort for Vatanen, who is now a Member of the European Parliament.

Sutton’s Historic Motorsport team is building a fresh Escort RS1800 for Vatanen and will supply an identical car for Blomqvist. John O’Connor, one of the original Rothman’s team mechanics, said: “It’s taken 27 years for the four of us to get back together and we’re all excited about this very important event.”

Waldegård scored most of the points towards his 1979 title in a similar Escort, while Mikkola won the crown in 1983 and Blomqvist in ’84, both in Audis.

The McRae Stages, run by Coltness Car Club on Saturday September 27, is based in Perth. The Coltness club is local to the McRae family which has supported it for many years.