..:: Colin McRae, Life after the WRC
Colin McRae's Career after the WRC
As the only other potential alternative suitors, Subaru instead eventually chose Mikko Hirvonen to partner Petter Solberg, McRae found himself without a drive for the 2004 season. He instead pursued other interests, including competing in the Paris Dakar Rally and the 24 Hours of Le Mans(see below).
Back to the WRC with Skoda
McRae then returned to the series for one off drives for Skoda on the 2005 Rally GB and Rally Australia, respectively finishing seventh and retiring due to a clutch problem on the final leg of the rally, the latter dashing hopes for what may otherwise have been only the team's second ever podium place after the 2001 Safari Rally.
On August 5, 2006, McRae competed for Subaru in the first live televised American rally in Los Angeles as part of the X-Games. McRae rolled the car on the penultimate corner after landing awkwardly from a jump, which damaged the front bumper and left front tyre. Despite this McRae's time was only 0.13 seconds slower than eventual winner Travis Pastrana. McRae was, though, to have one more opportunity at world championship level: he was unexpectedly entered for his final rally by semi-works Kronos Citroën at Rally Turkey in September, where he replaced Sébastien Loeb while the Frenchman recovered from an injury he sustained in a cycling accident immediately prior to the event. A final-stage alternator problem consigned him and returning co-driver Nicky Grist, to a final placing outside the top ten.
McRae’s competitive spirit also led him to compete in racing series other than the WRC. In September 2002 he tried his hand at oval racing when he took part in the Ascar (UK version of NASCAR) race at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, Northamptonshire; eventually finishing in sixth place.
Le Mans 24 Hour
McRae rejoined Prodrive for the 2004 Le Mans 24 Hour race, where he took ninth overall in a Ferrari 550-GTS Maranello partnering Darren Turner and Rickard Rydell. At the end of 2004 he featured with the likes of Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher in the Race of Champions at the Stade de France in Paris.
Paris - Dakar Rally
McRae, made his debut on the gruelling Dakar Rally Raid with Nissan in January 2004, and impressed the team by scoring two stage wins on his way to a memorable finish on the gruelling trans-Sahara event. He returned to the Dakar in 2005 and was fastest on two of the first three stages in Morocco, before crashing out of the rally towards the end of stage six.
In August 2007, McRae claimed to still be working on finding a seat for the 2008 WRC season, stating that "if it doesn't happen next year, then I won't (return) because you can only be out of something at that level for so long."
Colin McRae on the Playstation & X-Box & PC
Codemasters released the first Colin McRae Rally video game in 1998. Version 2, known as Colin McRae 2.0, was released in the year 2000, for Sony's PlayStation and for the PC; it was also ported to the Game Boy Advance in 2002. A third version found a wide audience on the PC and Xbox. Versions 04 and 2005 arrived in 2004 on all major platforms. 2005 was also remade for Sony's PSP and Nokia's N-Gage. Colin McRae: DiRT was the title for the next installment of the series, which launched in 2007 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The PlayStation 3 edition was released in the UK on September 14, the day before McRae's death. A special edition for mobile phones will also be available from Codemasters Mobile.
The Colin McRae R4
Colin McRae chose the 2006 Goodwood Festival of Speed to unveil the McRae R4, which had been conceived at the beginning of 2005. The intention was to make a cheaper alternative to WRCs (World Rally Cars) with significantly lower running costs. The McRae R4 was designed for use in rallying, rally cross, circuit racing and ice racing events, with the possibility of a one-make race series.
Designed by Colin McRae and Dave Plant and built by DJM Race Preparation, the McRae R4’s chassis is based on a steel safety cage with carbon paneling front and rear, and a steel-covered cockpit area. Suspension consists of twin wishbones with Proflex dampers. The body styling has been done by Keith Burden and Tom Webster. It appears that some components of the vehicle have been taken from existing production cars, the doorline in particular appears very close to that of the Ford Ka.
The engine is a normally-aspirated 4 cylinder, 2.5 litre Millington Diamond Engine producing 350 BHP. Transmission is via a six-speed gearbox, manual or semi-auto, and by mechanical front and rear differentials with the option of mechanical or active central differential. The car can be produced in either 2 or 4 wheel drive formats.
Alison McRae has said that she would like production of the car to continue following Colin's death.
Colin McRae. (2008, March 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:05, March 16, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Colin_McRae&oldid=198617063