World Rally Championship star Kris Meeke is all set to play a starring role at the ‘McRae Rally Challenge’ supported by Beatsons’ Building Supplies, EventScotland and the events team at VisitScotland, in May at Knockhill. Taking time out from a very busy FIA World Rally Championship schedule, the Citroen World Rally Team star driver has confirmed that he will attend the two day festival commemorating Colin McRae and Derek Ringer’s world title victory 20 years ago.
“I am really excited about coming to Scotland for the McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill,” said Kris, “I have many happy memories of my time in Scotland, where I was given such a warm welcome by the McRae family and indeed the wider rallying fraternity. Colin’s support, advice and encouragement played a huge part in the development of my early rallying career and gave me the opportunity to compete at the highest level. It will be great to be able to relax amongst friends in the build up to the WRC round in Portugal the following weekend.”
There are no details as yet of the car that he will drive as we go to press, but since this event on the 16/17 May falls between Rally Argentina and Rally Portugal, there will be little chance of a Citroen DS World Rally Car. However, Citroen UK have stated they ‘will have a presence’ at this event. Immediately after the McRae Challenge, Kris will fly out to Portugal for the fifth round of the world series the following weekend.
Whatever happens, Kris will be pitched against long time friend and rival, Alister McRae, plus some of Scotland’s top national stars including 5 times Scottish Rally Champion and former British Rally Champion David Bogie, reigning Scottish Champion and past BTRDA Champion Euan Thorburn and former works driver Jock Armstrong.
More champions have also entered the fray, including three times Scottish Rally Champion, Ken Wood, former Scottish Champ Gary Adam, and former Scottish Tarmack Rally Champion Ross Fernie. With so many British and Scottish Champions entered, it will be a highly competitive, high adrenaline charged event with all the crews driving flat out in tribute to Colin. Event Director Stuart Gray said: “The event is fast becoming Scotland’s own ‘Race of Champions’ or perhaps it should be known as the McRally of Champions!”
From farther afield comes Phil Collins, who faces quite a bit of work ahead of May’s event. The Welshman’s Ford Escort Mk2 punctured a tyre two weekends ago on the West Cork Rally in Ireland causing the car to roll quite spectacularly out of the competition. However, the 2001 BTRDA Champion and former British Championship front runner is convinced that his beloved, battered and bruised Mk2 will be back in pristine condition for the mid May event.
Kris Meeke in WRC action for Citroen Racing:
As well as the competitive 30-mile two-day Rally – organised by the Coltness Car Club – the McRae Rally Challenge will also host a mouth-watering display of McRae’s ex-competition cars, including the WRC Winning Subaru Impreza, iconic Martini Focuses and McRae’s own R4. As well as the McRae cars, there will also be a whole host of additional special exhibits and parades including up 15 legendary Group B rally cars. Ford and Subaru Owners’ Club features and tracktime, weekend camping and stunt performances from Terry Grant – International Stunt Driver – make the McRae Rally Challenge on 16/17 May and absolute must-attend event for any motorsport enthusiast.
Tickets for the McRae Rally Challenge are on sale now with pre-booking discounts available on all advanced ticket purchases.