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Remembering Park & McRae
09-17-2010, 12:39 PM
Post: #1
Remembering Park & McRae
http://www.wrc.com/news/features/wrc-sta...?fid=13667

Quote:
Anybody who ever watched McRae in a rally car should count themselves among the fortunate ones. He was a true God of the motor car and, inevitably, as the days, months and years pass, the stories of McRae’s masterful control will seemingly grow taller and taller. But they’re not. There’s no need for exaggeration where Colin was concerned - the true tale was unbelievable enough.

And the 1995 world champion really was that good. And when you’re that good, as the advert says, impossible is nothing. It’s the way world champions are made: there’s no drop-kick out of Jonny Wilkinson’s range and nobody can make a drop-shot quite like Roger Federer. And nobody could take a corner like McRae. In fairness, there were a few corners which didn’t quite go to plan, but on the whole, McRae was the genius the rest of the world sought to emulate.

Granted, he didn’t win as many rallies as Sebastien Loeb or as many titles as Carlos Sainz, but McRae will still match any other driver in terms of world recognition. Because McRae’s way was the only way for the man in the street. Corners, in all four corners of the world, were invariably met with a heavy right foot, broken traction and an apex being kissed sideways. There will only ever be one Colin McRae.
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09-17-2010, 01:04 PM
Post: #2
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
sadly, colin was before my time. i've only really seen his stuff in magazine articles and historic highlight reels.

though i will always remember the time he participated in the xgames super special. it was quite a moment when he rolled his car, downshifting as it tumbled over so he could be back in the throttle as soon as the wheels found the ground.
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09-17-2010, 02:52 PM
Post: #3
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
That was pretty much his style. If in doubt, flat out.

As the tech moved on and sideways wasn't fastest he struggled a bit. He was also from an era when finishing every rally, or almost every rally was unheard of. It was ultra competitive, if you weren't on or sometimes over the edge all the time you were 5th or 6th and only just in the points. Just like F1, wins were the key to titles, Schumacher ruined that for us.

Colin on Rally GB on a cold, wet, muddy and foggy day in the forests was untouchable. He would be as fast as if it was clear even if you couldn't see 10ft in front of you, he just had that absolute commitment. That era of Rallying with Sainz, McRae, Makkinen, Burns etc was fantastic. Before that was even better from stories I have heard from my Dad. Rallies ran for 5 days with full on night stages. Rally GB covered half the country and centralised service was unheard of. They also never covered a stage twice, let alone three times. It would be logistically impossible today and TV coverage would be non existent. But as a fan it would be great, you watch the top 10-15 cars through a stage, then jump in the car and go flat out to a stage one or two in front of what you just saw to see them again. I think they used to take a Land Rover so you could drive into fields and park anywhere (no organised car parks or spectator areas).

If you want an idea of how iconic the event was, it used to be sponsored by a company called RAC until probably the late 80's/early 90's. It's still known as the RAC by a lot of people despite no association for nearly 20 years.
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09-17-2010, 03:10 PM
Post: #4
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
when hd theater got the american rights to wrc, they did a marathon day of special historical shows (biggest crashes, amazing drives, etc.). there was a lot of colin, but what really stood out was a drive by him in the rally gb. it was a night stage with really dense fog making matters worse. as you said, he went for it in a way that none of the others were willing to, relying on pace notes and his familiarity with the stage rather than sight. he won the stage by several minutes, if i remember correctly.
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09-17-2010, 03:16 PM
Post: #5
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
Sounds about right. If I recall they used the trip computer in the car to measure the straights to know when to turn because you couldn't see the corners properly.

They would cancel the stage because the medical helicopter couldn't fly today.
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09-17-2010, 03:30 PM
Post: #6
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
(09-17-2010 03:16 PM)chemics Wrote:  They would cancel the stage because the medical helicopter couldn't fly today.

ain't in the truth. far too often in rally, safety and fun seem to oppose each other. i often get very frustrated with rallies in my area because they don't let spectators stand anywhere near the road. for the 95% of the people who are there simply because the circus came to town, this is good policy, but for the 5% who are rally fans and traveled to see the rally and know what they're doing, this is nannying. unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell the two groups apart.
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09-17-2010, 03:44 PM
Post: #7
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
You can throw the ones on the outside of the corner out to start.

I think if you look back at old footage with the crowd parting as the cars come you can see why it had to change. But like you say, the real fans know where to go and stand...in the woods with a bobble hat and a flask of coffee waiting for the whistle to blow to warn people to get off the stage (assuming they still do that) and to hear the pop and crackle of the anti-lag as the cars approach. Smile
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09-17-2010, 03:55 PM
Post: #8
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
oh, the crazies who stand on the road and run off just as the car is about to hit them are a special breed. i just want to stand next to the road, in a location protected by topography and the racing line rather than unnecessary distance and layers of view-obstructing trees.

at the rallies i go to, we use air horns to signal the car's approach if the spectator area is blind and under braking.
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09-17-2010, 03:57 PM
Post: #9
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
I'd recommend this book if you can get it and haven't already read it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Real-McRae-Autob...0091883962

Air Horns make sense, the days of the whistle were before they were around.
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09-17-2010, 04:06 PM
Post: #10
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
i'll keep my eye out for that in the ibooks store. it would be the first good motorsports book there, though, so i'm not holding my breath.

i do have a copy of this, which is very good:
http://www.dukevideousa.com/Colin-McRae-...C-DVD.aspx
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09-17-2010, 04:13 PM (This post was last modified: 09-17-2010 04:16 PM by chemics.)
Post: #11
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
Sounds good, I might be adding that to the Christmas list. I hadn't realised he was in the BMW Dakar team for 2008.
Just checked Amazon ca, no joy. The UK site has it with the 1995 RAC where he won the title though, so the in-laws can get it for me. If memory serves team orders made him give the previous round to Sainz...so he blew him away in GB to take the title.
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09-17-2010, 05:27 PM
Post: #12
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
i've found it comes and goes on amazon, as independent sellers get it and run out. i don't know how those sellers feel about shipping to canada, but i got mine through amazon. well, as a gift off of my amazon wishlist, but it works out the same.
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09-18-2010, 07:57 PM
Post: #13
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
The in-laws can get it on the Amazon UK store easily enough, so I'll ask for it for Christmas. We easily found a way to unlock our DVD player to make it multi region so we could play our existing DVD collection when we moved.

It's pretty handy if I ever want any motorsport stuff that isn't as widely available over here.
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01-28-2011, 04:16 PM
Post: #14
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
There is some excellent in-car of McRae from 2001 at the link below plus a ropey video of Kris Meeke watching it and talking about the difference between then and now. (There is a nice looking Ferrari 550 race car in the background, so I assume it's shot in the Prodrive workshops)

http://www.mudsnowandtar.com/featured/me...rae-in-car
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08-10-2011, 04:50 PM
Post: #15
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
Just saw a link to this on Twitter. McRae on the Limit!! Definitely worth a watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTUviCzqo...ture=share
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08-12-2011, 06:37 AM
Post: #16
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
I'm going to my first WRC event next month. Fortunately it's work related and I'm meant to get an all-access pass with fullcourse vehicle access. But I'm guessing in the heavily docrinated Health & Safety nature of my State, I doubt I won't be getting anywhere the restricted area unless there's something catastrophic.

Altho Loeb is amazing, there's really no-one that have the excitment of these legends.

Not bad for a No. 2 Driver
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08-12-2011, 07:02 AM
Post: #17
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
Lets not forget Richard Burns.
Another young British rally champion who died too early.
I don't follow the rally scene closely but their deaths in space of 2 years has basically took the heart out of British rally.

[Image: rpm_g_wheldon01jr_288.jpg]
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08-12-2011, 10:55 AM
Post: #18
RE: Remembering Park & McRae
(08-12-2011 07:02 AM)cozmoose Wrote:  Lets not forget Richard Burns.
Another young British rally champion who died too early.
I don't follow the rally scene closely but their deaths in space of 2 years has basically took the heart out of British rally.

It's coming back with Mini, Kris Meeke & Guy Wilks, but there is still nowhere near the buzz the McRae & Burns created.

To be honest it was McRae far more than Burns, but then the media created a rivalry that didn't exist as made for a good story.

Burns was always consistent and smooth, McRae was just devastatingly fast and spectacular which was why the crowds loved him so much. It's hard to believe both died so young and both outside of the dangerous sports they participated in.
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