Steep learning curve for Jimmy McRae
Sep 04, 2006
Jimmy McRae returned to the Ulster Rally last weekend when he drove the Jardine Lloyd Thompson supported Subaru Impreza N11, co-driven by Pauline Gullick.
“I tested the car in Wales the previous week but did not realise how quick the car would be until we got onto the first stage. I was very impressed with the speed and improved brakes. It took me some time to get used to the car as it was my first drive in the Group N car and my first modern rally since Wales Rally GB in 2004.
The two-day event on narrow and bumpy roads around Armagh attracted many Irish rally fans that braved the torrential rain on Saturday morning. Standing water caused many problems for crews and the stages were treacherous. We had a puncture on stage 8, which dropped us 1.5minutes, but I was pleased with our times that improved throughout the event and on the 12th stage, the 13.5 miler through Friary Lough recorded 10th fastest time.
As we were competing against the Irish tarmac experts in World Rally Cars I had hoped for a finish in the top 15 and this we achieved by the end of Saturday afternoon. I just wish there had been a few more stages as I was gaining confidence in the car and enjoying myself. I was pleased at finishing eighth quickest British Championship registered car,” said a smiling Jimmy McRae at the end of the event.
Five times former British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae won the Ulster Rally in 1981, 1986 and 1988 and is a rally legend in Ireland having won the Circuit of Ireland on seven occasions.
Jimmy returns to the British Historic Championship this week when he competes in Flanders driving the Prepfab Porsche 911 RS, co-driven by Campbell Roy. McRae said, “I have always enjoyed rallying in Ypres and I am sure this event will be as good. I was disappointed when we retired from the Manx whilst leading and hope that we can have a good run in Belgium.”
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