Skip advert
Advertisement

20 years since Colin McRae's WRC victory - Rally New Zealand

This November marks 20 years since Colin McRae became World Rally Champion; updated with the 1995 RAC Rally

Colin's 1995 season ended much better than it started. Despite displaying clear pace - the very first stage of the very first rally in Monte Carlo was won by McRae - it was Portugal until the Scot scored his first 1995 points, with a third place result.

A fifth place on the Tour de Course was hardly disastrous, but it was still a position behind McRae's main rival, teammate Carlos Sainz.

Advertisement - Article continues below

But in New Zealand, McRae's title hopes were reinvigorated. It was perhaps little surprise to those who'd followed McRae in previous years - he'd won in both 1993 and 1994, at the wheel of the Legacy and Impreza.

A land of stunning scenery and smooth, flowing curve sequences amid expansive greenery, McRae's sideways style perfectly suited nation's gravel stages and by this point in the season, his Impreza had shaken off its early-season power deficit to the Toyotas, Fords and Mitsubishis.

In the end, he edged out Didier Auriol's Celica GT-Four by a whole 44 seconds. Better still for the Scot, Sainz failed to even start the event, allowing McRae to claw back the maximum available points to close back the gap.

Despite McRae's dominance of New Zealand in the 1993-1995 seasons, the 1995 event was also to be his last victory on the antipodean island. The 1996 event, not a WRC round, was won by Britain's second world rally champion, 2001 victor Richard Burns, and in 1997 McRae's Subaru teammate Kenneth Eriksson took victory.

After that, a mix of bad luck and uncompetitive cars prevented Colin securing any further victories in New Zealand - but in the 1995 season, it was the start of a run that would see him become champion.

Page 5 > Impreza Series McRae

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Carlos Sainz signs for Ford: rally champ set for 2025 Dakar challenge 
Ford Ranger Raptor Dakar rally
News

Carlos Sainz signs for Ford: rally champ set for 2025 Dakar challenge 

Two-time World Rally Champion and four-time Dakar winner joins Ford Performance’s 2025 Dakar team
10 May 2024
2024 Dakar Rally preview: cars, teams, routes and full details
Prodrive Hunter – front
Features

2024 Dakar Rally preview: cars, teams, routes and full details

The 2024 Dakar rally roars into life on 5 January. Here’s all the key information, plus an inside look at Prodrive’s Dakar preparations
2 Jan 2024
Prodrive P25 review – this £552,000 Subaru Impreza is worth every penny
Prodrive P25
Reviews

Prodrive P25 review – this £552,000 Subaru Impreza is worth every penny

The P25 is Prodrive’s dazzling tribute to the iconic Subaru Impreza 22B STI. But can it possibly justify its eye-watering £552,000 price tag? There’s …
28 Oct 2023
2023 British Rally Championship: Trackrod Rally results
British Rally Championship Trackrod Yorkshire
News

2023 British Rally Championship: Trackrod Rally results

The 65th Motorsport UK British Rally Championship season continued with the Trackrod Rally in Yorkshire
25 Sep 2023
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Polestar 3 2024 review – premium electric SUV eyes BMW iX
Polestar 3
Reviews

Polestar 3 2024 review – premium electric SUV eyes BMW iX

Ultra-competitive pricing, a sharp design and strong performance make Polestar’s first SUV a promising new offering
9 Jun 2024
Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype review – a return to form or another disappointment?
Volkswagen Golf R prototype – front
Reviews

Volkswagen Golf R Mk8.5 prototype review – a return to form or another disappointment?

The Mk8 Golf R has never really wowed us, but can the Mk8.5 change that? A drive in a prototype version provides some clues
11 Jun 2024
Mazda 787B: the anatomy of a rotary Le Mans icon
Mazda 787B
Features

Mazda 787B: the anatomy of a rotary Le Mans icon

Mazda’s screaming rotary underdog is one of Le Mans’ most iconic winners. Three decades on, there’s still magic in car no. 55
8 Jun 2024