It’s hard to argue with Alister McRae at the best of times, but this time it’s impossible. What’s the point of having a fan-friendly event if – potentially – you’re not going to have any fans there?
It’s for that reason the McRae Rally Challenge has been postponed from its October 3/4 date until next season. The organizers of the Knockhill event, a celebration of 25 years since Colin McRae became Britain’s first ever World Rally Champion in 1995, are understandably unwilling to run behind closed doors.
Alister said: “There’s a hell of a lot going on in the world that we can’t control right now. It’s really disappointing this is postponed, but I don’t think Max [McRae, Alister’s son] and I would even manage to get out of Australia to fly to the UK – and we want to meet some of these celebrities that are coming!
“We want to get to meet everybody and we’re looking forward to bigger and better event next year.”
Three generations of McRae will drive at the event, with five-time British Rally Champion Jimmy joining his son and grandson in celebration and commemoration of Colin’s achievement.
Alister’s only concern about running at an as-yet-unconfirmed date is that it happens before Max is 17 years old.
“We need to keep him in a junior car,” laughed Alister, “we need to run the event before he’s old enough to drive anything bigger!”
Knockhill director of events, Stuart Gray added: “We are all disappointed to announce the postponement of this special event, but there are too many variables and unknowns to proceed with any certainty. It’s an event for the fans; for the fans of Jimmy, Alister, of young Max and of course fans of Colin to celebrate his remarkable career. Ultimately, with a star-studded line up, rally forum and special dinner, the main focus of the event was to allow fans to get up-close and personal with some of the world’s most famous rallying greats. With the current pandemic, enforced social distancing and the limitations on rally driving itself, the only option available to us is to postpone.
“Speaking with the McRae family, we are all determined to make next year’s event even better to make up for this delay. News about any tickets purchased for October will be announced soon but anything already bought will be valid for the 2021 event with refunds given if required. We hope all the rally fans understand the decision and look forward to the new event in the summer of 2021.”
There’s little doubt that Gray and his team will put the extra preparation time to good use, with Alister adding: “See you in ’21 and we’ll put on the best event there’s ever been.