This weekend’s final round of the World Rally Championship in Wales will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the late Colin McRae becoming the first British driver to win the FIA World Rally Championship.
It was on the 1995 Network Q RAC Rally – the final round of the season – that McRae clinched his title, defeating Subaru team-mate Carlos Sainz to become the youngest-ever title-winner.
The WRC season comprised only eight events in 1995 and his home victory was McRae’s second of the year. The first had been the Scot’s third consecutive Rally New Zealand victory – with a drive that further enhanced the legend of McRae and the Motu stage in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
After a controversial ``team orders’’ outcome which saw Sainz win the penultimate round at home in Spain, the two Subaru drivers began the RAC Rally tied on points.
McRae won 18 of the 28 special stages during a fight back from a second day puncture to beat Sainz by 36secs.
Central to the celebrations this weekend will be a display structure in the Service Park at Deeside, which will house four of McRae’s most legendary rally cars — his 1995 and 1997 Subaru Imprezas and a brace of Ford Focus RS WRCs. The exhibits also include original race suits, pace notes, trophies and posters – some of which have never previously been seen in public.
Colin’s father Jimmy, a five-time British Rally Champion, will be contesting the Network Q National Rally in a V8 Vauxhall Firenza while Manx driver David Higgins – a seven-time Rally America champion — will contest the rally in the latest Group N Subaru WRX STI featuring an evocative throwback blue-and-yellow livery with classic gold wheels.