McRae’s Anniversary Rally Return
25 years after he won the event outright, the ageless Jimmie McRae will be returning to the Pirelli Carlisle Rally and scorching through the ultra fast Kielder Forest gravel stages driving a Vauxhall Magnum, the car he started his remarkable career in over 40 years ago. The 5 times British Rally Champion will be partnered by Pauline Gullick as the pair continue their campaign in the 2016 Mintex British Historic Championship, the Carlisle based event being the 3rd round of the series.
Arguably one of the most the most successful British drivers of all time, the likeable Lanark driver also added a couple of Irish Tarmac Rally titles to his CV and has won the Circuit of Ireland Rally an incredible 7 times. His run of British Championship titles is quite remarkable as they came at a time, 1981-88, when the series attracted the top World Rally Championship contenders such as Ari Vatanen, Hannnu Mikkola, Pentti Airikala and the other top Scandanavian drivers. Remarkably he didn’t take up rallying until he was over 30, but he certainly made up for lost time, setting the stages alight with some remarkable performances that soon attracted the attention of the factory teams..
McRae’s victory on the Pirelli backed event came in 1991 when, partnered by Autosport’s Keith Oswin he took a Ford Sierra Cosworth to victory. Indeed, the McRae family have a remarkable record on the rally for Jimmie’s victory was matched by his younger son Alister who won the event in 1996, in a Ford Escort Cosworth, while his elder son, the late, great Colin went one better, scoring outright victories in 1989 and 1992.
The Pirelli Carlisle Rally runs over the weekend of April 30th/May 1st and is the 3rd round of the MSA British Rally Championship and also the Mintex MSA British Historic Rally Championship.