Mcrae plays the num­bers game 40 years on from Rally GB de­but

Motor Sport News - - Rally Gb Report -

Ral­ly­ing is a num­bers game: 222, 73, 40, 16. These ones have a very spe­cial con­nec­tion. At car num­ber 222, Jimmy Mcrae cel­e­brated his 73rd birth­day (on Fri­day) 40 years since mak­ing his Rally GB de­but in a Vaux­hall Mag­num. He man­aged 16th over­all in the Na­tional event.

The five-time Bri­tish cham­pion was back once again to take on a rally he’s con­tested off and on since that event in 1976, and with Pauline Gul­lick on the notes, the duo were as quick and had as much fun as usual.

Their rally was punc­tu­ated by a fuel prob­lem, which was caus­ing the car to be slug­gish at slow speeds and it strug­gled to start once it had been switched off.

But as he has done on many oc­ca­sions, he fought through. The re­ward and high­light of the week­end? The thou­sands of fans lined up in Ch­ester town cen­tre singing happy birth­day, which he said brought a tear to his eye. “It was lovely to go un­der the clock and to ex­pe­ri­ence that again, it gave me some great mem­o­ries,” he said.

He was push­ing “as hard as an old man can!” and be­lieve it or not, the Scot still checks the times and is as com­pet­i­tive as ever. “The first stage was cov­ered in mist, half­way through I thought ‘what the hell am I do­ing here?’ When we got to the end of the stage and saw the times, we were right with the peo­ple around us...” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.