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Old 15th May 2022, 17:56   #1
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Default Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

To be honest,I have no interest in penning Mcrae's biography in this thread. It is more of how Mcrae had the ability to get up to speed and become indomitable.

1000 lakes rally, Finalnd. Mcrae, following in his father Jimmy's footsteps, became a rookie in WRC and was given a seat in the fledgling Subaru-Prodrive team partnered with Ari Vatanen.Though he was subject to umpteen mistakes in the stages, he had begun attracting many owing to his tenacious attitude even after rolling and battering to a huge extent.

Flashforward to the 1995 RAC rally. It was Mcrae's home turf and moreover, he was equal on points with his then-teammate Carlos Sainz sr. Since both the drivers were left with no heavyweight opposition due to Toyota's ostracism for using illegal Turbo restrictors. Now, Mcrae definitely had to finish ahead of Carlos in order to clinch the top prize and what followed was an exhilarating display of tenacity and raw speed.

Mcrae had picked up a few punctures on day 2 and thus had his lead cut significantly by Carlos. Then came an impediment with the front suspension which was quickly fixed thanks to Mcrae's proficient repairing skills. By now, Carlos had taken the lead and Mcrae had to go flat-out which he did with a vengeance (Courtesy of the preceeding Rally Catalunya). Battling light showers, fog and slush, Mcrae finally bagged the title with Carlos relegated to P2.

Argentina, 1998. Mcrae's Subaru Impreza was in a bit of a struggle for the title bid and the flying Scot needed a good result in order to stay in touch with the title. The right rear suspension rod had relinquished. It was here Mcrae's and co-driver's Nicky Grist's innovative idea came to the fore. Since the rear right tyre could not be detached, they took some risk by way of causing the tyre to explode through some quick driving (wear and tear). It now became easy for both remove the remnants of the tyre rubber and unscrew the suspension rod.They placed the rod on a flat rock and had it trampled repeatedly so as to straighten it up. They fixed it back and won the next stage.

I had been of the opinion that Sainz was a great driver in the wet conditions. Truly, he was. But, in the 1998 Tour de Course rally, Mcrae, against mighty odds, won on wet asphalt amidst heavy advances from Sainz's Toyota Corolla and Delecour's Peaugeot 306 maxi which was heavily favoured to win on tarmac surfaces that season.

Mcrae had even won the 1999 Safari rally without taking a single stage win. It was not all guns and glory for him but at times, he was shrewd enough when to go flat-out or drive with consistency.

Last edited by Rehaan : 20th June 2022 at 21:20. Reason: Post edited. Please use spaces after all punctuations marks.
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Old 20th June 2022, 21:23   #2
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

Watched a few videos about McRae a month ago, that really showed how the man was untameable.

Flat-out all the time, absolutely no holding back or hesitation:





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Old 20th June 2022, 22:55   #3
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

I can only opine that he was flamboyant and an extremely gutsy driver. Amazing talent indeed. The only flip side was that he didn't look like lasting the distance with respect to an assault. With his talent, he should certainly have taken at least two more WRC titles but the man was his own enemy. So as long as he lasted, he was a treat to watch.

Another interesting thing to note is the WRC cars and driving style changed significantly close to Colin's last driving years and the beginning of the Loeb era. The clinical nature of attack wasn't his strength perhaps.



This kind of sums up the man. What a driver!
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Old 23rd June 2022, 12:36   #4
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

The cars must have changed but the aggression was still there. Marcus Gronholm was the man to look at during his Ford years. He was aggressive and is perhaps the only driver apart from Ogier to mount a direct challenge on Loeb in his prime. It was the pre-race setup which distinguished drivers from each other.

Note from Mod: Post edited. Please always use spaces after punctuation points.

Last edited by Rehaan : 28th June 2022 at 12:44. Reason: Please see note in post.
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Old 24th June 2022, 19:26   #5
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

McRae will always remain legendary in WRC annals, as a supernatural talent and a man who truly didn't understand what 'caution' meant.

Unfortunately, his lack of caution - and respect for Grist's navigation - cost him at least one championship. His need for flamboyance also killed him and others, including two small children one of whom was his own son. He didn't have the licence or rating to fly the chopper that he crashed, and was found to have been showboating dangerously just before the crash.

There is a video of him somewhere on YouTube, set to Iron Maiden's Fear of the Dark, which truly captures his insanity and flamboyance.
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Old 24th June 2022, 22:35   #6
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
. He didn't have the licence or rating to fly the chopper that he crashed, and was found to have been showboating dangerously just before the crash. .
Are you sure? I think he did have all the necessary licenses and ratings to fly a helicopter. But he should not have flown the helicopter under the prevailing conditions and at low altitude.

That is more about attitude and unnecessary and uncalled Risk taking.

Legally, I can take off in my single engine airplane with zero visibility. It would be very very stupid, but perfectly legal.

I must admit, I really liked the guy. Some of his driving as well as the interviews afterwards make for some of the best entertainment!

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 24th June 2022 at 22:37.
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Old 24th June 2022, 22:48   #7
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Are you sure? I think he did have all the necessary licenses and ratings to fly a helicopter. But he should not have flown the helicopter under the prevailing conditions and at low altitude.
From what I remember, his valid licence and type rating had expired at least a couple of years ago.

In a way, he was to rallying what James Hunt was to F1. Insane talent, insane attitude, both of which made him a fan favourite. Rallying allows you, quite literally, more latitude to show off, which McRae did to the best of his tremendous ability. That era of rallying, in terms of driving skills, was probably the greatest of all.

I've actually seen his L555 BAT being driven in anger. Quite a sight.
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Old 24th June 2022, 22:56   #8
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

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Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
From what I remember, his valid licence and type rating had expired at least a couple of years ago.

In a way, he was to rallying what James Hunt was to F1. Insane talent, insane attitude, both of which made him a fan favourite. Rallying allows you, quite literally, more latitude to show off, which McRae did to the best of his tremendous ability. That era of rallying, in terms of driving skills, was probably the greatest of all.
.
You are quite right.

I found this

Quote:
The report said that McRae's five-year flying licence had expired in February 2005 and he was also not authorised to fly the type of helicopter he was operating, because his "valid type rating" had expired in March 2007.

There had been several cases between 2004 and the time of the accident of "non-compliance with existing regulations", and the AAIB added that McRae would have known his type rating had expired when he flew from Scotland to London in March 2006, since the purpose of the flight was to meet with an examiner to renew it.
So yes, his license had expired and his license never covered the type of helicopter he flew, apperently.

I agree with your comparison with James Hunt. Mind you the difference between them was probably James being a terrible ladies man. I donít think Colin was at the level of James when it came to women .

Both outstanding and unique drivers, each in their own right!

Jeroen
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Old 27th June 2022, 10:53   #9
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Default Re: Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays

Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
McRae will always remain legendary in WRC annals, as a supernatural talent and a man who truly didn't understand what 'caution' meant.
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He's the reason I fell in love with Subaru. His driving abilities defied rationale or the fundamental human desire to stay alive. It seemed like his calculation of risk was the polar opposite of how Nikki Lauda would calculate risk.

No words of mine would do justice to explain my admiration for the legend.

Fortunately there's always other people who do a better job than me.



The following are from the golden years of Subaru WRC.





Quote:
Originally Posted by v1p3r View Post
His need for flamboyance also killed him and others, including two small children one of whom was his own son. He didn't have the licence or rating to fly the chopper that he crashed, and was found to have been showboating dangerously just before the crash.
This is the part where I get stuck explaining about Colin McRae to my family. I wish he was careful with that last chopper ride.

P.S: The Prodrive P25 debuted at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of speed and boy its a must watch for Subaru WRC fans.

https://twitter.com/GoodwoodRRC/stat...R3T9hEkaRuEgkQ

Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays-b7967c_5e192556b0f24f4eaf3c3ccf6a3d2bb1mv2.jpg

Why Colin McRae was unbeatable in his heydays-philhayprodrivep25fos04.jpg
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