There were a couple of surprise visitors at Coltness Car Club's fortnightly get-together in the Tillie at Crossford tonight. Having just flown in earlier today from their victory on Rally Hokkaido in Japan, Alister McRae had brought Bill Hayes along to meet 'the Bears' and introduce him to a bit of Lanarkshire culture.
The duo were in town for this weekend's IRC Rally of Scotland but if anyone is hoping for a 'home' win, they'll need a wee bit more than 'lucky white heather'. Alister is pretty upbeat about the Proton Satria S2000 though: "It's certainly a lot better than it was, so we're getting there, but every time we improve the car, Skoda and Peugeot improved theirs!"
Like his father and brother, Alister joined Coltness CC when he started his motor sport career and he attends these club nights when he's home (although he lives in Oz now) because he enjoys the banter, not because he feels it is a duty.
Coltness personnel were also manning the doors at the entrance to the pre-Rally Forum last Friday night in Aberfeldy and were rattling the charity buckets for the McRae Vision charity as folks passed through the door. The contents amounted to £380 - and Stig put in 20 quid himself. Nice one Stig!