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Colin McRae

Updated on July 2, 2009

Colin McRae MBE 1968 - 2007 - This Lens is Dedicated to Colin McRae

I am a raving Colin McRae fan and was already planning on building a lens about him a few weeks before I heard the tragic news, "Rally Champion Colin McRae Dies With Son in Helicopter Crash", I heard it over the radio as I just finished typing a post on my blog... So, now this lens is dedicated to my HERO... Rally Champion Colin McRae!

He...was my HERO!

Three reasons why I love Colin McRae

Because he was:

1) The Best Rally Driver in The World

2) The Best Rally Driver in The World

3) The Best Rally Driver in The World!

May He and His Son Rest In Peace...

Colin McRae at a Glance

Colin Steele McRae, MBE (5 August 1968, Lanark15 September 2007) was a Scottish World Rally Championship driver, the son of five-time British Rally Champion, Jimmy McRae and older brother of professional driver Alister McRae. He won the world driver's title in 1995, was championship runner-up in 1996, 1997 and 2001, and third in 1998.

He helped Subaru to the Manufacturers' title in 1995, 1996 and 1997, and Citroën in 2003. He was awarded the title of MBE (Member of the Order of British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996.

Colin McRae - Biography

Colin began his rally career in 1986, piloting a Talbot Sunbeam. A regular competitor on Scottish Rally Championship events, he was soon making a name for himself with his speed and exciting style of driving. His driving style drew many comparisons to Ari Vatanen, the famous Finnish rally driver who Colin had always idolised. He soon progressed to a Vauxhall Nova, and then onto a Ford Sierra XR 4x4. His first WRC exposure was in the 1987 Swedish Rally behind the wheel of his Nova, and again in 1989, driving the Sierra and finishing 15th overall. Later in '89, he finished 5th overall at Rally New Zealand in a rear wheel drive Sierra Cosworth. 1991 saw Colin join Prodrive Subaru for the British Rally Championship. He was twice the British champion in 1991 and 1992, soon graduating to 'works' status for the factory team.

Colin McRae - WRC

McRae won his first WRC rally in 1993, piloting the Prodrive-built Subaru Legacy in the Rally New Zealand, before aiding Subaru to a three-year sweep of titles, including one for himself in 1995 after a thrilling final round duel on his home event, with team-mate and double world champion Carlos Sainz. He later also won the 1998 Race of Champions.

After several years of varying success, Colin switched to the M-Sport Ford team in 1999, behind the wheel of the new Ford Focus WRC rally car. This move was rewarded with two quickfire wins at the Safari Rally and Rally Portugal. However he was to struggle with reliability woes for much of the rest of that season, although later he did narrowly miss out on a second driver's title with the M-Sport operation in 2001.

With victory on the Safari Rally in 2002, McRae made the record books as a driver with most event wins in the World Rally Championship. Erstwhile 2003 Citroën team-mates Spaniard Carlos Sainz and Frenchman Sébastien Loeb are among those to have since overtaken him.

In 2003, McRae decided to part ways with Ford and sign with the promising Citroën team. However, the Scotsman could only muster seventh in the title race, with no rally victories. When hopes for a second stint at Subaru evaporated — the Japanese marque signed young talent Mikko Hirvonen to partner 2003 World Champion Petter Solberg — he was subsequently left on the sidelines for 2004.

As of 2006, he had participated in 146 WRC events, and been team mates of many drivers including Carlos Sainz, Richard Burns, Ari Vatanen, and Sebastien Loeb.

Although not officially retired, McRae opted to take some time off from WRC and pursue other interests during his 'gap year', such as piloting a Nissan truck in the Paris Dakar Rally. He also contested the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

McRae driving a Skoda Fabia WRC on the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff super special stage of the 2005 Wales Rally GB.

After his year-long absence from the sport in 2004, McRae made his return in a works Skoda Fabia WRC on the following season's Wales Rally GB, albeit on a strictly one-off basis. He netted seventh place in a car widely believed uncompetitive in WRC circles. However, his hard-fought result was overshadowed by the tragic death of fellow British competitor Michael Park. Then came his bid for second place on his return in Australia, dashed by clutch woes three stages from the finish. Meanwhile, McRae was believed to be on the lookout for the chance of a full-time return to the sport for 2006, following the Škoda works team's withdrawal from the WRC.

On August 5, 2006, Colin and co-driver Nicky Grist competed for Subaru in the first live televised American rally in Los Angeles as part of the X-Games. With 2 turns to go, Colin spectacularly flipped his Subaru Impreza, heavily damaging the front bumper and all but destroying the left front tyre. The car rolled back upright and he continued the race, finishing second.

In October 2006 it was furthermore announced that the pairing would serve as replacement for defending champion (and 2003 team-mate) Sébastien Loeb in the Kronos Citroen team for the Rally of Turkey, in light of the Frenchman breaking his arm in a bicycle accident. A final-stage alternator problem consigned them to a final placing outside the top ten. McRae's hopes for participation in the outstanding events in the 2006 calendar were subsequently unfulfilled.


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Colin McRae in 2003 WRC Rally Germany - Stage 1

Colin McRae - Rally

The other key McRae association is with the world of computer games. Codemasters released the first Colin McRae Rally title in 1998. Version 2 was released in the year 2000, for Sony's PlayStation and for the PC, and it was ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002. A third version found a wide audience on the PC and Xbox. Versions 04 and 2005 arrived in 2004 on all major platforms. 2005 was also remade for Sony's PSP and Nokia's N-Gage. Colin McRae: DiRT was the title for the next installment of the series, which launched in 2007 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. A special edition for mobile phones will also be available from Codemasters Mobile.

Colin McRae Rally, the first title in the series, was released for the PC and PlayStation platforms in late 1998 in the United Kingdom and in early 2000 in the United States. The game featured vehicles by Subaru, Ford, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Volkswagen, Renault, and Audi, among other manufacturers. The Subaru Impreza was featured on the game's cover.

The game contained courses in several locations, including New Zealand, Australia, Monte Carlo, Indonesia, Greece, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Corsica. The PC version also included four unlockable tracks to which real-world locations were not attributed.

Colin McRae - Rally 2.0

This second game features the 1999-spec Ford Focus WRC, the 2000-spec Ford Focus WRC, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VI Gr.A, Subaru Impreza WRC2000, Peugeot 206 WRC, Toyota Corolla WRC and Seat Cordoba WRC, among other cars. The countries included are Kenya (gravel and tarmac), Finland (gravel), UK (tarmac, mud and gravel), Sweden (snow and ice), Australia (loose pea gravel), Japan (1 stage in challenge mode), France (Corsica) (tarmac), Greece (rough gravel), and Italy (tarmac). The car featured on the front cover of the game was the Ford Focus WRC 2000 (V3 FMC).

Colin McRae - Rally 3

Cars included in this version are the Subaru Impreza WRX (44S), Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VII, Citroën Xsara Kit Car, Citroën Saxo VTR, MG ZR, Ford Racing Puma, Fiat Punto, all available for Arcade mode. There are eight countries: Sweden (snow), Japan (wet tarmac), UK (wet tarmac/gravel and mud), Finland (gravel), Spain (dry concrete/tarmac), Australia (dry loose pea gravel), USA (gravel and dusty tarmac), and Greece (dry rough gravel).

The championship takes place over three years (2002, 2003, 2004) as you race to try and become the Sparco Rally Champion in Colin McRae's Ford Focus RS WRC '02. Six rallies take place each season. The car featured on the front cover of the game was the Ford Focus WRC '02 (EK51 HXZ) from the 2002 Rallye de Catalunya.

The extra cars included are: Ford Focus RS WRC '01, Lancia 037, Mitsubishi Pajero, Mitsubishi EVO VII RSII, Citroën Xsara, Ford Focus RS, Subaru Impreza 22B STi (2000-spec), Citroën 2CV. MG Metro 6R4, Ford RS200, and Subaru Impreza 44RD.

This was the first Colin McRae game released for the Playstation 2, as well as the Xbox. A GameCube version was announced but never released.

This fourth incarnation of the Colin McRae Rally series, unlike in the previous three games, had no official WRC team license. All of the cars' liveries are either fictitious or taken from championships other than the WRC. The cars included are the 2003-spec Citroën Xsara WRC, Subaru Impreza WRC, Peugeot 206 WRC, Mitsubishi Lancer, and the 2001-spec Ford Focus WRC. Two-wheel drive (2wd) cars included are Citroën Saxo, Ford RallyeSport Puma, Fiat Punto, VW Golf GTi and MG ZR. Nicky Grist is replaced by Derek Ringer, although you can opt for Grist for all cars except the Xsara. The countries are the same as in McRae 3 with some old stages from McRae 2.0 and new stages. There are six championships to complete, including expert mode, 2wd normal/advanced, 4wd normal/advanced and Group B normal. The car featured on the front cover of the game was the Citroën Xsara WRC '03 (22BJM 92). The car's livery is from a 1999 Citroën Xsara Kit-Car.

Colin McRae - Rally 2005

The 2005 installation of the McRae franchise has over 300 stages spread over nine countries: Australia (loose gravel), Japan (tarmac), Finland (gravel), Greece (rough rocky gravel), UK (tarmac, mud, and gravel), Spain (smooth tarmac), USA (gravel/dusty tarmac), Sweden (snow and ice), and newcomer Germany (abrasive tarmac/mud). There are over 30 cars available, including Ford Focus WRC '01, Subaru Impreza WRC2004 (which is featured on the front cover), Citroën Xsara WRC '04, Peugeot 206 WRC2003, and Mitsubishi Lancer EVO VIII (8). There is also a revised graphics / damage engine that enables paint scratches on the car, and a new 'career' mode where the player starts out in the lower club leagues and works his/her way up to compete with Colin McRae in his 2004 Dakar Rally Nissan Pick-Up. In 'Championship' mode the player competes as Colin himself competing in 6 Rallies using any 4WD car.

The game's graphic engine allows for more realistic damage effects and a blurred vision effect if the player comes into contact with a hard object.

Colin McRae Rally 2005 PS2 - Germany Stage 1 Video

At E3 2006, Codemasters revealed that a new McRae game was in development for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC. On 20 July 2006, Codemasters announced that the title of the new game would be Colin McRae: DiRT in Europe, and DiRT: Colin McRae Off-Road in the United States.

The title was released on June 15, 2007 in Europe and on June 19, 2007 in North America for the Xbox 360 and PC. The PS3 version is expected to be released later in the year.

A demo for the Xbox 360 version is available on Xbox Live for download. There is also a PlayStation 3 demo available to download from the PlayStation Network. Both versions of the demo are free of charge.

Graphically, the game has improved greatly over Colin McRae 2005 especially with the added Direct X 9 bloom which brings the game to life allowing more realistic lighting effects. Also, the damage engine has been improved allowing the car to be deformed and damaged differently with any collision.

Colin McRae: DiRT is the sixth series of games based on Colin McRae Rally, developed by Codemasters. It features new graphics, audio, physics engine, new vehicles, and a new game engine which was co-developed between Codemasters and Sony Computer Entertainment. The game features a variety of off road racing categories as well as World Rally Championship style events.

The single player game plays out through 4 modes. Career, Championship, Rally World, which is a single race set up.

The Career mode is set up in a stylized pyramid that has 11 "tiers", with the bottom tier having 11 different events. Each event consists of one or more race events of a single type requiring a specific type of car. The player earns up to 10 points for their placing in all the races within the event. Most events require a specific number of points within a specific tier to unlock, and thus as the player earns points, more of the pyramid becomes unlocked, moving up to the "Champion of Champions" event at the very top.

By winning races and earning money the player is able to purchase cars and liveries (skins) for the cars. In total there are 46 different cars and 186 liveries. The amount of money earned is based on the difficulty level picked by the player when selecting the event; higher difficulty levels have more challenging AI opponents and more realistic damage effects. Completed events can be reraced at any time, though unless challenged at a higher difficulty level, the player will earn significantly less money than when they first raced it. In Rally events with multiple races, the player has the opportunity to repair damage between races, but is only allotted 60 minutes of damage repair at each point based on time estimates to fix each component of the car.

Championship mode offers up a series of races in which the player's combined time throughout each stage is cumulative.

Multiplayer allows the player to race up to 99 other players in rally races through solo competition, as there are no other cars, ghosts or players present on the track. Fastest time determines who wins.

Colin McRae: DiRT - Release

DiRT was released on June 15, 2007 in Europe and on June 19, 2007 in North America for the Xbox 360 and PC. The PS3 version is expected to be released on September 1, 2007 in North America and on 14 September in Europe.

Colin McRae: DiRT - Critical response

DiRT has received generally positive reviews, IGN UK and US rewarding it a 9.0 and 8.4, respectively. It has also received 9.0 from Official Xbox Magazine, 8.5 from Gamespot, and 8 from Edge. It has been confirmed by Codemasters that 500,000 copies have been sold in the first week.

Colin McRae: DiRT - Demo

A playable game demo was released on Xbox Live Marketplace on May 24, 2007. The demo for PC was released on the same date. The demo contains 3 tracks and 3 race types to try out.

The PC demo also included an online mulitplayer mode. The Xbox demo was also included in the August 2007 demo disc from Official Xbox Magazine.

The demo was also released for the PlayStation 3 on August 16, 2007 on the US PlayStation Network, but does not include the hill climb.

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Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Shout Out For Colin McRae!

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Colin was a world class driver and person. He will be missed always. Great Lens by the way.

    • Prosperity09 profile image


      8 years ago

      Gone too soon

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      colin was sick guy rip

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Colin McRae was the number 1 wrc rally of all time and i was one of his biggest fans.

      It was the worst day of my life when he was tragicly taken in 2007 he is saddly missed by all his fans and our hearts go's out to all his family.

      I had the great pleasure of seeing him drive in the Carlisle rally in may 2007 and i will always remember that day as one of the best days of my life.

      We love you colin cora-99 xxxx

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      So sad to see someone taken away so young, and at the height of their career too.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      colin was 1 awesome drver much loved and repected he was down to earth but commited to what he loved brilliant

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      colin mcrae was the best rally driver he was very good,i am sad becaus he die

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I Like all the photos. Great Page!!!

      Budword Dude


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