For British rally fans, Chester will always be a very special place. Always.
And at the heart of this special place is an even more special place: Chester’s racecourse.
Twenty-five years ago (and 26 come to that), we remember one moment. One win. And it wasn’t Salaman’s success by a couple of lengths in the 1450 Chester Summer Stakes.
It was, of course, Colin McRae and Derek Ringer’s glorious Network Q RAC Rally win of Wednesday November 22, 1995. The Scotsmen’s 36-second win over Subaru team-mates Carlos Sainz and Luis Moya was enough to crown them World Rally Champions.
Twelve months earlier, McRae won the rally, but missed the title and said he wanted to be back a year later to complete the job. He did just that.
But you knew that. You knew all of that.
So why, in February, am I talking about McRae, Chester, Network Q and Subarus?
Three words: Chester Rally Revival.
The inaugural running of this week’s Friday-Saturday event is working to recreate much of the magic – from Jimmy McRae driving a Vauxhall Firenza at car one, through Colin’s former co-driver Nicky Grist wheeling out his own Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD to the Subaru Legacy RS McRae used to finish second on the 1992 Swedish Rally.
The Legacy is a DirtFish car – part of our owner Steve Rimmer’s collection – and tended by BGMsport.
BGMsport and DirtFish will combine further to provide the crew, with Ian Gwynne driving and, er, me co-driving.
Fortunately for me (and Ian), the event’s not too taxing. There’s a ceremonial start from the racecourse on Friday evening, a re-start from there at 0800 on Saturday and then a day made up of various venues, most of which have formed part of the rich history of the RAC Rally.
Check back with DirtFish.com and our social channels to keep up with car #3’s progress through Friday and Saturday.