DirtFish Rally School to support Velocity Invitational

Six cars will make the trip south to California with Alister and Max McRae in tow


DirtFish Rally School owner Steve Rimmer will support October’s Velocity Invitational event, taking some of motorsport’s most historic and iconic cars to the WeatherTech Raceway in California.

The Laguna Seca-based event has fast developed a reputation as the go-to weekend for America’s finest historic race and rally action. Across three days (October 14-16), cars as varied as pre-war Bugattis and Steve’s own MG Metro 6R4 will be appreciated by more than 10,000 visitors to the Monterey Peninsula and more than 600,000 watching on a livestream.

“We watched this event with interest last year,” said Steve. “It was a huge success. So when we got the call to see if we would be interested in working with Velocity this time around, let’s just say it was a fairly short call!

“I’ve been to the Goodwood Festival of Speed over in the UK many, many times and the cars, the crowd and the atmosphere at Velocity is just the same. These three days aren’t just about the cars, they’re about the people, the place, the performance and, of course, some sort of party.

“DirtFish Rally School continues to grow in worldwide reputation – helped by the development of the media side of the business – and that’s fantastic. But we’re an American company with motorsport in our DNA and the opportunity to share time and space with like-minded folk at Velocity is amazing.”

And the cars?

“We’re taking six cars to Velocity,” said Steve. “These are cars which help to bring the story of the World Rally Championship to life. The cars range from the Lancia Rally 037, which was first designed in 1980 all the way through Subarus which captured the imagination of a generation and on to a sensational 800bhp Ford Fiesta.

“So, we have these fantastic cars. That was the first part of the deal done, but who was going to drive them?”

That was Steve’s next dilemma. Fortunately, he has family friends in rallying’s highest of high places. It was time to call the sport’s most recognized dynasty.

“This was a job for the McRaes,” said Steve. “I’m fortunate to know the family quite well. I followed them, starting out with Jimmy, when I was growing up in England. I used to stand out in the forests in the middle of the night, waiting for these guys to come thundering past on the RAC Rally.

“To have got to know them on a personal level is something very special to me. And when we had the chance to take the cars to Velocity, I had to call Alister and his son Max to ask them to come over and drive them. I’m happy to say they agreed.”

It’s a real privilege to be asked along to Velocity by Steve. Max and I can’t wait. Alister McRae

Alister McRae is a driver who competed at the sport’s very highest level for more than a decade. He worked with Hyundai, Mitsubishi and even shared the Subaru World Rally Team with his elder brother Colin.

Alister’s son Max is the 18-year-old third generation of this incredible family.

“He’s maybe as quick as his Gramps (Gramps being five-time British Champion Jimmy McRae), but I don’t think he’s as quick as me,” laughed Alister after being asked about Max.

Max is quick to point to this year’s McRae Rally Challenge, a one-off event to celebrate Colin’s 1995 world title, where Jimmy, Alister and Max competed together for the first time.

Max won.

“Aye,” said Alister, “I think he might have had a wee advantage with the car that weekend…

“Seriously, it’s a real privilege to be asked along to Velocity by Steve. Max and I can’t wait. We were both over at Goodwood earlier this year and we got the chance to drive some of Steve’s cars – it was fantastic!

“Goodwood is always one of the highlights of the year, so to have what sounds like an American version of the Festival of Speed is going to be an awesome weekend.”