Rally legend Jimmy McRae to wow British fans

ONE of the greatest names in rallying will return to the stages next month when five times British champion, Jimmy McRae, enters the Wales Rally GB at the wheel of a 1970’s Vauxhall Firenza.
Jimmy Mcrae 1970 Vauxhall Firenza
Jimmy Mcrae
1970 Vauxhall Firenza

After a ten-year absence from competition, Jimmy, who turns 71 this month, is returning to the fearsome Welsh forests in the Firenza, and said he cannot wait for the event.

“It’s great to be back involved in the biggest rally event in Britain,” he said.

“I expect it’ll be quite a tough one as well, with three good days in some great stages.”

 Although perhaps best known as the father of global rally legend, the late Colin McRae – who died in a helicopter crash after becoming the first British driver to win the FIA World Rally Championship and a three-time Rally GB winner – Jimmy’s competitive record is pretty impressive, too.

He won the British Rally Championship title on no fewer than five occasions,  The event is the final round of the world championship and will be shadowed by a round of the national series that has categories for older cars.

McRae will be driving in these, although he is not yet sure in which car because he has two to pick from.

He said: “We’re not sure yet which car we will take. We’re going to test the 2.3-litre twin-cam Magnum and the V8 back-to-back.

“We’ve driven both cars this year and I don’t mind which one we use. Maybe the 2.3-litre would be better if the conditions get a bit wet.”

Other historic cars joining him at November’s event include a Porsche 911, Lancia Stratos and MG Metro 6R4, as well as numerous Ford Escort MkIIs.