Saturday, September 15, 2007
The Untimely Passing Of Colin McRae
Those of us old enough to remember The Alabama Gang in its heyday can also remember the tragic death of Davey Allison while piloting his helicopter. He was just about to land on the helipad at Talladega when things went very wrong.
Now, that type of tragedy has struck again with the untimely passing of former World Rally Champion Colin McRae. Only thirty-nine years old, McRae was nearing his home in rural Scotland piloting his own helicopter. He was accompanied by his young son and two other passengers. Witnesses describe the fact that a rotor blade suddenly detached from the helicopter and the craft hit the ground immediately. All those aboard perished.
In America, many youngsters only know McRae from his popular video game called Colin McRae Rally. It has appeared in several versions, the latest entitled DIRT. To veteran motorsports fans, he meant much more.
Colin McRae was the Dale Earnhardt Sr. of the WRC. A working class man whose father still runs a heating and air conditioning business, McRae was not impressed by the high and mighty. He was feisty, outspoken, brooding, and drove like hell. When he won, he won big, and when he crashed, he crashed big. McRae was a versatile driver like Dale Senior, and competed in the Dakar Rally and even the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
SpeedVision viewers became fascinated by McRae when the WRC came to SPEED years ago. His feisty determination coupled with a wickedly dry sense of humor endeared him to fans.
In 2006, McRae drove his Subaru in the X-Games on ESPN, and rolled his car completely with two turns to go. As the car landed back on the wheels, he shoved it into drive and finished the race in second place. For fans who have a memory of Dale Senior flipping his car and then driving it onto pit road at Daytona, this was the ultimate link between the two.
With the recent influx of racing stars from other sports to NASCAR, many believe Colin McRae would have loved to try his hand at a Watkins Glen or Sonoma. Now, racing fans are left with the memory of one tough Scotsman who loved to drive whatever he got his hands on to the limit.
Our deepest sympathy to his wife Alison and his remaining family members.
To leave a comment on this post, click on the COMMENTS button below.