The tragic deaths of Colin McRae, his son Johnny and two family friends, Graeme Duncan and Ben Porcelli, left a gaping hole in British rallying that’s still to completely heal a full decade on from that awful day in September. While nothing can bring back British rallying’s favourite son and his friends and family, Rallyday, Britain’s foremost motorsport showcase, has opted to pull out all the stops to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his passing. Rallyday is now able to confirm that McRae’s ex-co-driver Nicky Grist will be attending, alongside a massive display of rally cars closely associated with the 1995 World Rally Champion.
Though McRae paired with a number of different Co-Drivers over the course of his long career, it’s his partnership with Nicky Grist that’s best remembered, so it’s fantastic to be able to welcome the Welshman to Rallyday 2017. Grist joined with McRae in time for the 1997 season, meaning he was privy to one of the most fascinating (not to mention fruitful) portions of the Scot’s career, and the pair went on to rack up impressive amounts of silverware in both the Subaru Impreza and Ford Focus WRCs, plus spells behind the wheel of the Citroen Xsara and Skoda Fabia WRCs.
Not only did Nicky Grist have a front seat (quite literally) in one of the most exciting periods of British motorsport, the Welshman grew to know McRae better than pretty much anyone so there can be no one better to look back on the Scot’s career and the impact he made on the sport. Grist will be on hand to share anecdotes and stories from their fruitful career, as well as discussing his present, hugely active role in British rallying.
Rallyday will also be marking this highly significant milestone by producing an exclusive sticker, one which will no doubt look right at home on any budding McRae’s Impreza, Focus RS, or, depending on the size of their family, Vauxhall Zafira. These strictly limited stickers will be given away free with every advance ticket booking, so be sure to book your tickets now with adults from £18 and under 17's go free!
Nicky Grist’s attendance is only one aspect of what promises to be a fitting tribute to McRae, with the other being an incredible display of machinery closely associated with the Scot’s career. The full list of cars confirmed is simply too long to include here, but highlights include P2, P10 and P12WRC, the Imprezas used by McRae for select events in 1997, and R19, the car he used the following season. There will also be a number of the Subaru Legacies which played a significant (if all too often overlooked) role in his ascent to the top of the sport.
Of course the McRae rally story has always been one defined by intense, and at times controversial, competition, so it’s only fitting that Rallyday 2017 will play host to a number of cars driven by his rivals. Few sporting rivalries can match that of McRae and Carlos Sainz so it goes without saying that El Matador’s Focus WRC will make an appearance, as will an ex- Piero Liatti Impreza and X20WRC, the Subaru that Richard Burns used to such devastating effect, plus many others.
The Series McRae Owners Club are responsible for organising this aspect of the show so it’s only fitting that all of these stunning WRC icons will be on their stand, along with at least 6 examples of their own, seriously iconic machines. There can be no better way to commemorate Scotland’s most beloved motorsport export than this, and anyone who lives and breathes British rallying really does owe it to themselves to make the pilgrimage to Rallyday on Saturday 23rd of September.