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Colin McRae 1968-2007


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#51 Glengavel

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 19:47

And that reminds of another journalist recounting the story of hurtling through the forest as McRae's passenger, going through a ninety degree bend at ridiculous speed and observing Colin cheerily waving to his brother who was standing watching...

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#52 Alan Lewis

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 21:48

Having been born at the wrong time for Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Fangio, Clark (J. and R.A.),..., I'm glad I was able to stand in cold, wet November Kielder to watch a Subaru breaking the laws of physics on more than one occasion.

What abilities to do that! But more, what simple joy in the doing. And in an otherwise utterly normal man. It was an honour to see it. God bless you, Colin.

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#53 JSF

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 23:06

I saw Colin compete through his entire career, my first recolection of him was driving the little Vauxhall Nova on the Scotish rally, i had gone up to watch Jimmy on his way to another British Open championship and was gobsmacked to see the speed this screeming Nova was coming down the stage. He was one to watch from the outset.

I was lucky enough to then see him rise through the ranks and followed his progress through the lean years of trying to get that next drive in an XR4x4 or Cosworth Sierra, he was always Maximum Attack and faster than the car should have been. Thankfully David Richards had the ability to see the potential of Colin and gave him a proper crack at it first through the British championship and then onto the world stage.

My brother and I spent many a year camping out in our cars, following the RAC around the UK in snow, ice and rain for the week, Colin was always one of the stars that made it worthwhile. You couldnt explain to work coleagues why we spent 1 week a year slumming it, you had to be there and part of the atmosphere that rallying was back then to get it. It was my passion and it was great to have a guy of my age like Colin giving it beans and loving it as much as we did. You could see how much passion he had for the sport and how hard he worked at it, the fact he was so spectacular to watch was a huge bonus.

The highlight for me was in 95, standing on the top of sweet lamb, part of the Hafren stage. I knew it well as we used that as our test stage (i spannered a leading BTRDA contender back then and co-drove in testing), Colin was fighting back after a major loss of time and had to claw back time on Carlos to win the Rally and Championship. The car was dancing all the time it was in sight coming over the top of the complex, devastatingly fast, he absolutely caked us in mud as he went past sideways, it was brilliant. Carlos was resigned to losing after seeing the way Colin destroyed his time.

We then rushed up to Chester and were in the stands of the racecourse when he picked up the rally trophy and the World Championship, the atmosphere was incredible. Back then it was so special to have a British driver winning at world level.

I didnt miss an RAC rally from the moment i could drive, until last year, and always enjoyed watching Colin drive. His first year with the Focus i was stood 10 yards from where he went off in a massive end over end flip, after he left the road and hit the roof of an Escort Cosworth that was stuck in the ditch. My brother and I had to pull the door away from the shell so Colin could get out, the car was in such a state. He was never dull to watch, always 100% effort and comitment.

Colin didnt enjoy the active differential cars so much, during his 2003 campaign you could see the frustration as his flamboyant style didnt allow him to set the stage times, rallying had gone too high tech and driving it neat and tidy like on a race circuit was the way to set the times. I wasnt surprised he took a step back after that year. Now the cars have gone away from so much active transmition systems and back to passive diffs, i was looking forward to seeing Colin have another crack at the championship. It's such a shame we wont see that now.

I've hundreds of great memories of my rallying days, and will always have a smile when i think of the things Colin used to do, he will be much missed.

#54 bill moffat

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 08:34

Originally posted by Stirling
Such desperately sad news ......and two families devastated by the loss of fathers and little boys. An unimaginable blow for wife's and siblings. And Jeremy Hart's observation in FLB's link - "It's so ironic that he should die in a helicopter crash when he had competed and had brushed with death so many times as a rally driver" - brings to mind the circumstances of Graham Hill's loss.

ciao,
Stirling


Terribly sad news and I agree that we need to spare a thought for the "other two" who lost their lives in the crash. Coming so soon after the passing of Richard Burns it must remind us all of our mortality and its susceptibility to either accident or illness.

There are some parallels with GH's crash but I understand that Colin was a meticulous pilot, this contrasts with the fact that GH, the aviator, was (apparently) regarded as an accident waiting to happen...

#55 RTH

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 08:54

Travelling by air is probably potentially the greatest risk of death ordinary people take in normal life and light aircraft and especially private helicoptors far greater than in general. If something goes wrong it does not just coast to a halt at the side of the road.

#56 Phil Rainford

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 09:10

Originally posted by JSF
I saw Colin compete through his entire career, my first recolection of him was driving the little Vauxhall Nova on the Scotish rally, i had gone up to watch Jimmy on his way to another British Open championship and was gobsmacked to see the speed this screeming Nova was coming down the stage. He was one to watch from the outset.

I was lucky enough to then see him rise through the ranks and followed his progress through the lean years of trying to get that next drive in an XR4x4 or Cosworth Sierra, he was always Maximum Attack and faster than the car should have been. Thankfully David Richards had the ability to see the potential of Colin and gave him a proper crack at it first through the British championship and then onto the world stage.

My brother and I spent many a year camping out in our cars, following the RAC around the UK in snow, ice and rain for the week, Colin was always one of the stars that made it worthwhile. You couldnt explain to work coleagues why we spent 1 week a year slumming it, you had to be there and part of the atmosphere that rallying was back then to get it. It was my passion and it was great to have a guy of my age like Colin giving it beans and loving it as much as we did. You could see how much passion he had for the sport and how hard he worked at it, the fact he was so spectacular to watch was a huge bonus.

The highlight for me was in 95, standing on the top of sweet lamb, part of the Hafren stage. I knew it well as we used that as our test stage (i spannered a leading BTRDA contender back then and co-drove in testing), Colin was fighting back after a major loss of time and had to claw back time on Carlos to win the Rally and Championship. The car was dancing all the time it was in sight coming over the top of the complex, devastatingly fast, he absolutely caked us in mud as he went past sideways, it was brilliant. Carlos was resigned to losing after seeing the way Colin destroyed his time.

We then rushed up to Chester and were in the stands of the racecourse when he picked up the rally trophy and the World Championship, the atmosphere was incredible. Back then it was so special to have a British driver winning at world level.

I didnt miss an RAC rally from the moment i could drive, until last year, and always enjoyed watching Colin drive. His first year with the Focus i was stood 10 yards from where he went off in a massive end over end flip, after he left the road and hit the roof of an Escort Cosworth that was stuck in the ditch. My brother and I had to pull the door away from the shell so Colin could get out, the car was in such a state. He was never dull to watch, always 100% effort and comitment.

Colin didnt enjoy the active differential cars so much, during his 2003 campaign you could see the frustration as his flamboyant style didnt allow him to set the stage times, rallying had gone too high tech and driving it neat and tidy like on a race circuit was the way to set the times. I wasnt surprised he took a step back after that year. Now the cars have gone away from so much active transmition systems and back to passive diffs, i was looking forward to seeing Colin have another crack at the championship. It's such a shame we wont see that now.

I've hundreds of great memories of my rallying days, and will always have a smile when i think of the things Colin used to do, he will be much missed.


I too was at the Sweet Lamb stage as Colin chased down his team mate. I have never experienced such a noise/reaction from any crowd ( Some were even setting off fireworks ) as Colin blasted past on the limits of adhesion.

He was a "Hero" in every sense of the word and is irreplaceable

#57 sterling49

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 18:38

I read this news with shock, some 4-5 days after the tragic event, Colin will be so badly missed, he was a one off, a true enthusiast, that loved the sport and competing for the fun of it.He achieved so much, and was recognised as being the fastest of his time....and he had some great competitors. I will say a prayer for the families involved. As they say...his light burnt very, very brightly.

#58 brucemoxon

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:08

I only saw him drive once - Rally Australia in 1993. Perth is 4500 km from Sydney (where I live) so getting there every year is impossible.

Anyway, it was the last morning, the last stage in fact. We were at a 'private' spectator point with former Australian Champion Rob Herridge. The cars came over a small crest into our sight, down a short straight of 200 metres or so, then disappeared into a fast right-hander.

We had a radio scanner and heard Colin was off the road. "Bad luck" I thought, he was running in the top few and his team mate Rodger Freeth had died just a couple of days earlier.

Then the radio told us that they'd got the car back on the road and were coming. We' already seen the leaders - Kankkunen, Vatanen, Rudi Stohl - the others fade from memory - it was all about Colin.

He erupted over the crest, far more sideways than any of the others, going (it seemed) 100 km/h faster and shot down the straight, braking 50 metres later than them and rocketing out of sight.

30 seconds or so later, Leigh Hynes, in a Daihatsu emerged, looking a bit tentative and with eyes like dinner plates; seems Colin didn't give Leigh much chance to find a place to pull over and let the faster car by.

I was a fan - right from when he was in the Sierras - OK so he crashed a bit. That was put into perspective for me when Ari Vatanen once sagely said that Colin reminded him of someone he used to know. "A young Ari Vatanen", said the elder statesman.

Somewhere here I still have the highlights video of the 1991 British Rally Championship - always a great watch. I could only follow his career by way of magazines, TV and more recently, the net.

Damn it, this is terrible. It's taken me a week to be able to sit down like this. Crapcrapcrap.

Thanks Colin.



Bruce Moxon

#59 ReWind

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 19:40

Colin McRae would have been 40 today. :cry:

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#60 sterling49

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Posted 05 August 2008 - 19:57

Another year on, WRC will never return to the days of glory with Colin. He is missed in every sense of the word, we had two World Champions until recently. :(

#61 FrankB

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:09

McRae tribute convoy to cross UK

#62 Coral

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 09:29

Today is the first anniversary of Colin McRae's tragic death in a helicopter crash near Lanark, along with his son Johnny and friends Ben and Graeme. :cry:

I shall be raising a glass to Colin today...a real Scottish hero.

Cheers Colin...thanks for the memories... :wave:

#63 Phil Rainford

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 22:35

NEC today.....


Posted Image


Posted Image

Kind regards

Phil

#64 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 16:58

I am afraid that the AAIB bulletin report upon Colin's fatal accident has just been published, as mentioned in the news today. The full report makes sombre reading... involving several similarities to Graham Hill's accident. If interested, you will find the official report here:

http://www.aaib.gov......BHL 02-09.pdf

DCN

#65 Gary C

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 18:04

Yes indeed, sober reading.

#66 Coral

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 18:31

I have been sad about this all day. :( The report makes for very upsetting reading :cry:

#67 MCS

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 18:32

Like many here, I'm sure, I too read and listened to the news stories earlier, having naturally wondered what had really happened.

Some interesting - albeit depressing - comments: "I think the aircraft was being operated very aggressively / very aggressively at low level and very fast indeed, etc."

The quotes attributed to the other boy's parents about "unnecessary risks" are also pretty chilling.

Thank you for posting the report Doug.

#68 RS2000

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 20:36

I think the licence situation has been fairly "common" knowledge for some time.
The only thing you can say in very slight mitigation of Graham Hill is that he was of a different era, maybe his (and Chapman's) flying not so far removed from Mike Hawthorn's road driving, for example.
Colin McRae cannot, I'm afraid, even be granted that small consideration. He is from a different more legally-conscious era. He had surely met Damon Hill on many occasions but the lessons of history don't seem to have registered.

#69 cpbell

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 20:48

Very, very sad. :cry:

#70 Doug Nye

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 20:58

Colin could be cut a little slack on the pilot's licence lapse since he might - repeat might - have become confused by the regulation change from 'licensed for life' to the new 'licensed for five years' legal requirement, but the report states that in March 2006 he must have been aware that his type rating had expired, "since the purpose of the flight was to meet with an examiner to renew it". Yet at the time of the accident he was still not in possession of a valid rating.

DCN

#71 Giraffe

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 21:02

Let's hope that the outcome doesn't do to the McRae family what it did to the Hill's at that time.

#72 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 22:32

http://news.sky.com/...201109116063702

Outcome of the inquiry is Colin was flying too low and too fast unnecessarily and wasn't licensed at the time of the crash. It's all in the past now but remains a great shame.

#73 Coral

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 22:46

Yes it is a great shame, but what's done is done and it upsets me that this is being brought up four years later. For the sake of the families, I think it is time to move on.

R.I.P. Colin, you will always be remembered by all your fans.

#74 Allan Lupton

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 07:33

Yes it is a great shame, but what's done is done and it upsets me that this is being brought up four years later. For the sake of the families, I think it is time to move on.

Yes, but what has to be understood is that aviation incidents are rigorously investigated so that, if there is shown to have been a reason that can be avoided in future, the industry learns what needs to be done to avoid recurrance. I don't know about the Scottish Fatal Accident Inquiry system, but it seems to have similar objectives.
It seems that the McRae incident has at least one thing in common with Graham Hill's, which I find surprising, bearing in mind the publicity that one had and the real suffering his family went through.

#75 Derwent Motorsport

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:26

I wonder if there will be a civil case for damages from the young lad's family as happened with Graham Hill?

#76 cheapracer

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 17:37

I believe that a lot of things that should be said are not said often in cases where the main identity is a "much loved icon" and indeed I was a big fan.

But analytically speaking it would appear that 2 children are dead due to a thrill riding pilot and that's not ever acceptable. I find picture 4b to be quite chilling as it is damning (post 64).



#77 rolf123

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 18:00

Terrible what happened and a lesson to all: don't overestimate your abilities and do not use a helicopter as a toy to impress, especially when responsible for the safety of children.

#78 Glengavel

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 19:19

There's an interesting paragraph in the BBC news article here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...w-west-14803595

"The sheriff's findings go further than an Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report, published in February 2009, which found no cause could be positively determined into the tragedy."

So how has the sheriff managed to overrule the AAIB's findings? Or does the opinion of experts in their field count for nothing?



#79 Tim Murray

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 19:57

Have you read the AAIB report (as linked to by Doug in post 64)? The whole tone of the report indicates that they consider that the accident happened because McRae carried out an unnecessarily dangerous manoeuvre. The only reason they could not come up with this as their final conclusion was that they could not entirely rule out a technical fault, although it is clear that they considered this extremely unlikely. Here's the relevant sentence from the Conclusions section:

Although no technical reason was found to explain it, a technical fault, whilst considered unlikely, could not be entirely ruled out.



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#80 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 21:59

Could you ever rule out technical failure when the aircraft is destroyed? It also couldn't be ruled out that the extreme manoeuvres being undertaken didn't cause a technical failure. Either way, when extreme manoeuvres are being undertaken at low level in a helicopter it's very easy for things to go wrong.

#81 rolf123

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 04:27

Have you read the AAIB report (as linked to by Doug in post 64)? The whole tone of the report indicates that they consider that the accident happened because McRae carried out an unnecessarily dangerous manoeuvre. The only reason they could not come up with this as their final conclusion was that they could not entirely rule out a technical fault, although it is clear that they considered this extremely unlikely. Here's the relevant sentence from the Conclusions section:


Indeed. Basically the flight path deviated from what was intended and there is no way of knowing why this happened. What McRae was doing was pulling off a demanding manouvre so he basically left very little margin for error/technical fault or anything else.

We don't know what caused the deviation but we do know that his flying meant there was scant chance of recovering from it.

#82 Coral

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:52

I just want to take a minute to remember Colin McRae today, five years on from that awful Saturday, 15th September 2007. Remembering also Colin's son Johnny, and friends Ben and Graeme... :cry:

Thanks for the memories Colin... :wave:

#83 sterling49

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 18:25


Nice post Coral...............Colin left us all with a great bank of memories, he never stopped trying.............time flies.

#84 275 GTB-4

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 12:34

I just want to take a minute to remember Colin McRae today, five years on from that awful Saturday, 15th September 2007. Remembering also Colin's son Johnny, and friends Ben and Graeme... :cry:

Thanks for the memories Colin... :wave:


To Colin...raise your glasses :up:

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 24 September 2012 - 00:55.