1994: Following family
“I didn’t start the rally this year, but I’d been doing it off and on for a few years – just when I could get a deal. The emphasis had shifted onto the boys. Colin was out in the Subaru and Alister was there in the factory Nissan Sunny F2 car. In those days, F2 was so competitive and Alister had come to the RAC after winning the class in Sanremo, so we were really looking for a result. It didn’t happen though, he retired with an electrical problem in Kielder.
“By then, Colin was leading the rally. He’d led for the three years before that, so we were all holding our breath and holding out for the finish. The only thing which could have stopped him from winning was if he had to slow down and let Carlos [Sainz, team-mate] take the victory to help him beat Didier Auriol in the championship. But then on the final morning, Carlos went off the road in Pantperthog. Colin was going to win! And he did.”
Stately homes have long played a part in Britain’s round of the World Rally Championship. To a generation of rally fans, Mickey Mouse had everything to do with Chatsworth House and Sutton Park and nothing whatsoever to do with Walt Disney.
Getting a car slowed down on muddy, greasy asphalt covered by fallen autumn leaves before threading it through a thousand-year-old arch