Eight former winners of Britain’s biggest rally were present when the 2007 Wales Rally GB celebrated the 75th anniversary of the event formerly known as the RAC Rally.
Three winning drivers and five co-drivers came together at the event’s ceremonial start in Cardiff last November, including 1965 winner Rauno Aaltonen, 1989 winner Pentti Airikkala and Juha Kankkunen, three-time winner in 1987, ’91 and ’93.
Jimmy McRae drove the Subaru Impreza that his son Colin used to win the 1995 World Rally Championship over the start ramp, and was joined by Colin’s former co-driver Derek Ringer, a double Rally GB winner.
Other winning co-drivers present included Stuart Turner (1960), Tony Mason (1972), Robert Reid (1998, ’99 and 2000) and Nicky Grist (1993 and ’97).
The cars on show included an original 1932 Lanchester, identical to the car that won the inaugural RAC International Rally, and the Jaguar XK120 driven to victory in 1953 by Ian Appleyard.
Jimmy McRae recently returned to the wheel of a Ford Escort Mk2 to finish second in the Roger Albert Clark Rally in November, his first event since the death of his son Colin and grandson Johnny in a helicopter accident in September.
McRae drove the Escort he used during the 2007 British Historic Rally Championship to battle for victory with the similar car of Steve Bannister, only to lose out when he was hit by two punctures on the final day.
“It was Jimmy’s decision to compete,” said co-driver Andy Richardson. “It’s what Colin would have wanted – for Jimmy to get back out there and do what he loves.”