Having been lucky enough to witness Jimmy McRae’s dominance of the Circuit of Ireland throughout the 1980s and see each of his seven victories, I was surprised at his comment regarding Bertie Fisher being the one driver who he always watched out for. The records will show that the only driver to put it up to McRae in Ireland was Russell Brookes.
Finishing runner-up to him four times and beating him once in 1983 was by far a better finishing record than Fisher over the same period. In fact the only Irish driver to actually beat McRae in that era was Billy Coleman in 1984 after McRae had retired while leading. Fisher’s triumphs on the Easter classic came in the mid-90s when it was no longer a round of the British series. Jimmy McRae was head and shoulders above all opposition back in those days when it was a real marathon rally. The driving style required to get to the end of this gruelling event was second nature to the Scotsman and he constantly demoralised the opposition. The fact that the Circuit is a shadow of its former self means McRae’s seven victories will never be beaten.
Podge Newe, Ballyglunin, Galway, Ireland