The first rallycross taste for McRae

by Tim Whittington |

Alister McRae will make his World RX debut this weekend, more than 11-years after he sampled a contemporary Supercar and expressed his interest in racing one, and 15 years after older brother Colin got to try a rallycross car.
At Mondello Park in 2006 McRae put in a handful of laps in John McCluskey’s ex-Hansen Motorsport Citroen Xsara Supercar. In just a single run, the Scotsman managed to lap within a second of the car’s owner.
“The Supercar was amazing, the quickest thing I’ve ever driven,” said McRae. “You drop the clutch on the line and everything happens so fast, it’s very exciting. It was good fun to drive … I’d definitely race one if the opportunity was there.”
Junior rallycross was launched in Ireland on the same day that McRae drove the Supercar Citroen.
That presented to opportunity for McRae to go up against multiple rally champion Andrew Nesbitt in a pair of the 1000cc Minis in a match race. McRae won.
The Mondello Park outing was not the first time a McRae had driven a rallycross Supercar. In 2002 Colin McRae got to try out Dermot Carnegie’s Ford Focus Supercar at the Punchestown Rally Experience event.
Carnegie sat alongside McRae that day and was impressed with what he saw. “He was very impressive, at times we were a gear higher through the stage than I would have been. Considering he’d never sat in a car like this before it was amazing,” said Carnegie.
McRae had several times been linked to possible rallycross drives but this was as close as he ever came. The 1995 World Rally Champion was also impressed with the experience. “It was amazing, the fastest car I’ve ever driven – including the time I drove the F1 car. I would say the acceleration off the line was fractionally quicker than the F1 car,” said McRae
This weekend Alister McRae races the Loco Energy World RX Volkswagen Polo that has been raced by Guy Wilks in the first eight World RX events of 2017.
Alister McRae photographs © Robert Chambers/
Colin McRae photographs © Martin Walsh/
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