Tuesday 31 May 2022

McRae Rally Challenge

Derek 'The Professor' Ringer
The guest list for the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill on the 2nd and 3rd July continues to grow. Those attending and now confirmed from the world of motor sport, and particularly rallying, are three generations of McRaes led by Jim, Alister and young Max, plus Elfyn Evans and his faither Gwyndaf, Stig Blomqvist and Scotland's first World rallying champion, Louise Aitken Walker.

And of particular interest it's so nice to see that a number of top co-drivers have been invited, those oft-forgotten men and women who are an integral and vital part of any successful rally team. Appearing at Knockhill will be Luis Moya, Tina Thorner, Phil Mills, Nicky Grist, Ian Grindrod - and Derek 'The Professor' Ringer.

It's a personal opinion, but I don't think Derek and the late Nicky Jack who also co-drove for Colin in the early days received the due credit they deserved for keeping a hugely gifted but wild and wayward youngster on the road and stage (most of the time!) in the early days of a flamboyant and successful career.

When I first came across Derek, he was sitting in his kitchen with the innards of a Hillman Imp engine spread out on the kitchen table meticulously assembling the mechanical jigsaw. Many folk didn't know he was a gifted engineer in his own right.

Perhaps not quite natural fodder for the local Coltness Car Club, better known as 'The Bears', but Derek's eccentricity ensured he was a good fit for the rough and tumble of club rallying life in the 1980s.

In addition to the personalities, the Knockhill rally event has attracted an entry of 80 cars with over 50 Group B, Group A and WRC cars on track.

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