McRae’s “Win it or bin it” driving style

Colin McRae MBE

Born 1968 in Lanark, Scotland. McRae’s first WRC debut was at the 1987 Swedish Rally. From there he took part in the WRC with Subaru, Ford, Citroën and Skoda teams. McRae won the Drivers’ Championship in 1995. In 2003, he stopped competing in the series. McRae died in September 2007 in a helicopter accident near his family home.

McRae drifting a Subaru Impreza at the 1993 RAC Rally

As the son of Jimmy McRae, Colin McRae started racing in the Scottish World Rally Championship in a Talbot Sunbeam in 1985. In 1987, McRae changed his machine to a Vauxhall Nova, then soon after competed in a Ford Sierra RS Cosworth until 1990. David Richards, then head of Prodrive, which ran the Subaru World Rally Team (SWRT), signed him onto his team. In 1991, McRae raced in the British Rally Championship in a Subaru Legacy RS and won the championship. In 1992, McRae competed in both the British Rally Championship and WRC. He showed his speed as he ranked in 2nd place at the Rally Sweden under snowing conditions. At the “1000 Lakes Rally” the same year, McRae finished 9th despite rolling the car over three times. Back then, McRae commented “This is my style. I am always pushing my machine to its limit.” His numerous crashes and recoveries earned him the name “Mcrash.” His first WRC win was in 1993 New Zealand, commenting that it was the first without having to go so aggressively. 1994 was another year full of crashes, but in 1995 McRae obtained his first WRC Drivers’ Championship. Subaru also earned the Manufacturers’ Championship. McRae took a big part in helping the team to get the Manufacturers’ Championship from 1995 to 1997. In 1996, McRae was honored as a Member of the Order of The British Empire (MBE) for his outstanding performance in the motorsport field. In 1997, SWRT introduced the Subaru Impreza WR. McRae impressed fans all over the world in the car with his dynamic driving.

McRae changed his team to Ford in 1999 but struggles in the championship with only 9 wins until 2002. McRae moved on to Citroën in 2003 and retired from rally during the same year. McRae told media that “the new technology used in rally cars made driving less interesting.”

The 2002 Safari Rally win was his last win in WRC

McRae driving the Citroën Xsara WRC in 2003 as a replacement for Sébastien Loeb

After his retirement from WRC, McRae challenged in different races. In 2004 and 2005, he joined the Nissan Rally Raid Team to compete in the Dakar Rally alongside Ari Vatanen and Giniel de Villiers. At the same year, he also took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from Prodrive in a Ferrari 550GTS Maranello with Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell, finishing 9th overall and 3rd in the GTS class.

In 2005, he raced in the British and Australian WRC from Skoda. McRae also took part in the Turkish WRC in place for Sebastien Loeb in a Citroën Xsara. This ended up being McRae’s last WRC race. In 2006 he participated in the X-games in a Subaru Impreza and performed his iconic driving style.

McRae joined the 2004 Dakar Rally with Ari Vatanen, his former Subaru teammate

Colin McRae WRC Record of victory

Times Year Event Co-driver Car
1 1993 Rally New Zealand Derek Ringer Subaru Legacy RS
2 1994 Rally New Zealand Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
3 1994 RAC Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
4 1995 Rally New Zealand Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
5 1995 RAC Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
6 1996 Acropolis Rally Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
7 1996 Sanremo Rally Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
8 1996 Rally of Catalunya Derek Ringer Subaru Impreza 555
9 1997 Safari Rally Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC97
10 1997 Rally of Corsica Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC97
11 1997 Sanremo Rally Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC97
12 1997 Rally of Australia Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC97
13 1997 RAC Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC97
14 1998 Rally of Portugal Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC98
15 1998 Rally of Corsica Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC98
16 1998 Acropolis Rally Nicky Grist Subaru Impreza WRC98
17 1999 Safari Rally Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC99
18 1999 Rally of Portugal Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC99
19 2000 Rally of Catalunya Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC2000
20 2000 Acropolis Rally Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC2000
21 2001 Rally of Argentina Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC01
22 2001 Rally of Cyprus Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC01
23 2001 Acropolis Rally Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC01
24 2002 Acropolis Rally Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC02
25 2002 Safari Rally Nicky Grist Ford Focus RS WRC02

WRC Legend Driver TOP

Silver Partner

  • Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance

Bronze Partners

  • ACT HOLDINGS
  • Cheerio Corporation Co., LTD
  • eplus inc.
  • NISHIO RENT ALL Co.,Ltd.
  • PUMA Japan K.K.

Official Supporters

  • JTB Corp.
  • TAMADIC

Media Partners

  • The Chunichi Shimbun
  • TOKAI TELEVISION BROADCASTING CO., LTD.
  • CBC TELEVISION Co., LTD.
  • CHUKYO TV. BROADCASTING CO., LTD.
  • Nagoya Broadcasting Network Co., Ltd.
  • Aichi Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd.
  • CBC RADIO Co., Ltd.
  • TOKAI RADIO Co., Ltd.
  • FM AICHI BROADCASTING CO., LTD.
  • ZIP-FM Inc.