Saturday 16 May 2015

Rally - McRae leads

Huge crowds greeted and cheered the appearance of Argentine Rally winner Kris Meeke this morning when drove out on to the Knockhill track in Colin McRae’s 2003 Citroen Xsara World Rally Car. For the Citroen DS World Rally Team driver, it was a very emotional moment. When he won Rally Argentina just two weeks ago he dedicated his first World series victory to the 1995 World Champion, Colin McRae.

Meeke is appearing in this weekend’s ‘McRae Rally Challenge’ tribute to McRae to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the UK’s first ever World Rally title which he won for Subaru in 1995. 

The Rally Challenge today consisted of 5 Special Stages using the Knockhill track and rally stage with 5 more stages tomorrow (Sunday 17th May).

Leading after this first half of the Rally Challenge is Alister McRae driving a Proton Satria car similar to the won in which he won the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship four years ago.

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He has a 6 second advantage over 5 times Scottish Rally Champion David Bogie in his Ford Fiesta R5. In third place is rising Cumbrian star, Aaron Newby in a Subaru Impreza.

McRae said: “It’s so good to see so many people here in such a variety of cars for this very special event, but the main thing is the spectators. Even during that heavy rain and hail shower they were standing out there cheering us on.”

David Bogie was equally complimentary about the event and the crowd: “This is just such good fun. It’s not so much about the competition, it’s just about being here and taking part.”

Aaron Newby added: “I might have been a bit closer to David (Bogie) but I caught a car in one of the stages and lost a few seconds,” but at that point, Aaron’s Dad chipped in: “He was showboating. He came round the hairpin on the last stage on full opposite lock all the way!”

But this was a day for showboating with Meeke combining Course Car duties with the occasional do’nut while at the other extreme was former Scottish Saloon Car Racing champion Drew Gallacher who was giving the term ‘recycling old tyres’ a whole new meaning. What’s that song again? “Smoke gets in your eyes!” 

Leaderboard after 5 (of 10) Special Stages:
1, Alister McRae / Craig Ritchie,  Proton Satria,  16 minutes 34 seconds
2, David Bogie / Scott Erskine,  Ford Fiesta R5+,  16:40
3, Aaron Newby / Paula Swinscoe,  Subaru Impreza,  16:45 
4, John Paterson / Craig Wallace,  Ford Escort II,  17:05 
5, Gary Adam / Gordon Adam,  Ford Escort,  17:14 
6, John Rintoul / Ross Hynd,  Hyundai Accent WRC,  17:19 
7, Quintin Milne / Stephen O'Hanlon,  Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 9,  17:29 
8, Ian Paterson / Helen Brown,  Subaru Impreza N10,  17:32 
9, John MacCrone / Alasdair MacCrone,  Ford Fiesta R5,  17:34 
10, Alan Kirkaldy / Garry Muir,  Ford Escort,  17:35 

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