There’s always been a bit of history about the McRae name and Knockhill. And now it’s official. Just over Duffus Dip, there’s a hairpin right that will forever reflect rallying’s most famous family.
Welcome to McRae’s. Now a recognized corner at Scotland’s most famous motorsport facility. McRae family members opened the corner, with Max driving Colin’s daughter Hollie through a ribbon in the same Subaru Impreza 555 he used to win the 1995 RAC Rally and that year’s title.
Standing with the head of the family, five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy, he’s reliving Knockhill moments with a chuckle.
“This place here,” he said, pointing to the corner which bears his name, “this is where David [Llewellin] ended up in 1987. He went in there backwards.”
And you, James, you weren’t exactly blameless in that moment on the Scottish Rally?
“He’d come out of the pit lane away from the start,” he continued, “and I was coming through the merge. He started to move over on me and I thought: “Nah, there’s room enough in there for me.” Maybe there wasn’t that much room, but I thought it was my line. We touched and he pinged off onto the grass. And he ended up here.”
Here is McRae’s.
“It’s a great honor to have this corner named [after us],” said McRae. “If you consider we’ve got Stewart Straight (after Sir Jackie Stewart) and Clark (after Jim Clark), for the McRae name to be in among this lot is something very special. We’re very grateful to everybody here for this moment.”
David answered the knock on the door and told Matt’s dad that Colin had already left the circuit. He hadn’t. He was hiding in the toilet!Jimmy on Colin's BTCC guest outing at Knockhill
McRae’s is at the opposite end of the circuit to the hairpin, the scene of Colin McRae’s most audacious move – the one which began with him trying to out-brake BTCC legend Matt Neal and ended with him hiding in the toilet in Prodrive’s motorhome.
Jimmy added: “Colin was driving a Prodrive BMW M3 as a guest at the touring car race. It started to rain and Colin was just as quick in the wet as he was in the dry. He couldn’t work out why Matt braked so early into the hairpin and he hit him.
“Come the end of the race, Matt’s Dad – who’s quite a big bloke – came looking for Colin. David [Richards, Prodrive chairman] answered the knock on the door and told Matt’s dad that Colin had already left the circuit. He hadn’t. He was hiding in the toilet!”
Knockhill will further cement its moment in history with the McRaes this weekend when the McRae Rally Challenge gets underway on Saturday.
Three generations of the family – Jimmy, Alister, and Max – will compete against some of Britain’s leading national drivers. As well as that, 24 of Colin’s cars will complete a parade lap of the Knockhill circuit on Sunday.