On rally stages, the word’s ‘Colin’s coming!’ meant spectators scrambled for vantage points, leaned over that bit more and inched their necks out further to see the spectacular driving style of Britain’s first World Rally Champion.
Twenty years ago, Colin McRae won his first ever WRC rally, and two years later he won the world title. He is still the youngest world rally champion, having won at age 27 after victory in the West of Scotland Autotest at age 16 a mere 11 years earlier.
McRae was larger than life – a determined character in the car, often pushing on in battle-scarred, war weary metal – whose flamboyant style brought rallying to a younger generation as the figurehead of the video game bearing his name. While he won rallies for Ford, drove Ferraris and campaigned Nissans in Dakar enduros, it was his success in the blue-and-yellow Subarus that’s remembered most fondly.
McRae had two well known sayings, one being: ”If in doubt, flat out” and the other: “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.” Sadly the latter became all too true, when on September 15, 2007 the 39-year-old Scot was killed instantly in a helicopter accident.
Photographer Colin McMaster and journalist David Evans have produced ‘McRae, just Colin’ which celebrates the Scot’s career and his character, following his early days with insight and previously untold personal stories by those who knew him best. There are also loads of previously unpublished behind the scenes images as well as amazing pictures of McRae’s awe-inspiring style.
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‘McRae, Just Colin’ costs £39.99 and is available from Amazon.