McRae’s Legacy goes beyond the driving

Colin McRae's RAC outing in 1992 changed the course of Jon Scoltock's life


No rally driver achieved greater reach than Colin McRae. His exploits in blue Subaru Imprezas have gone down in history as some of the most iconic images the World Rally Championship has ever recorded. And that’s without mentioning his immortalization in the digital world, or the roll at X Games that cemented his legendary status with a whole generation of US viewers.

For me though, there is one image that will forever be associated with the name McRae, and it comes from before the days of the 555 Impreza, before the magic of that 1995 WRC title, or the big-money move to Ford that sent his reputation into the stratosphere.

After a stellar rise through the junior ranks, McRae was snapped up by Prodrive for the 1991 season and would complete his apprenticeship at the wheel of a Subaru Legacy. It was here, while the hottest young talent in British rallying was being nurtured for an assault on the world stage, that I discovered the sport I have now become so immersed in.

My earliest memory of rallying is watching the young McRae throwing a Rothmans-stickered Legacy around the forests of Great Britain on his way to back-to-back British Rally Championship wins in 1991 and 1992.


This shot from the Girardo & Co. Archive perfectly illustrates those fuzzy recollections of childhood where I would sit in front of the television, awestruck as the young McRae manhandled the Legacy between the trees.

Heading into the 1992 edition of Rally GB, there was expectation that McRae might finally deliver a British-born RAC winner for the first time since Roger Clark in 1976. After dominating the BRC (he won every round that year), the optimism was understandable. It would ultimately be another two years before McRae delivered his first home win.

He may have only managed sixth place that year, but McRae’s trajectory was clear. He was promoted to a full-time WRC drive in 1993 and, from there, his career went from strength to strength.

There will always be something special about those early days. Little did we all know at the time the impact McRae would have on the sport – and my own future.