Alister takes Group N Victory
Sep 19, 2004
Alister McRae enjoyed a sensational run to class victory on last weekend’s Wales Rally GB.
The Cardiff-based event was a round of the World Rally Championship, but was not part of McRae’s Production Car World Championship programme. Instead, he entered his RED-prepared Subaru Impreza to perfect set-ups on the car.
“The idea was to try a few settings and get used to the car on a loose surface,” said McRae, who was co-driven by Northern Irishman Chris Patterson. “The final round of the PWRC is in Australia and, although it’s unlikely to be wet there, the top surface is every bit as slippery as the conditions we have seen in Wales.”
McRae worked to optimise his Proflex suspension and also tried a variety of damper settings as the conditions varied between dry gravel and sodden, muddy stages, but his pace was so quick that he ended up winning the Production car class comfortably, giving the home crowd something to cheer about.
“Victory wasn’t really the main aim when we came here, but it’s always good to take a win in front of your home crowd,” said McRae, who ended up 14th overall and more than seven minutes clear of his nearest class rival. “The RED team did a perfect job with the car all weekend, and now I’m looking forward to the run-in to the PCWRC with renewed confidence.”
McRae also starred on ITV’s live television broadcast of the final stage, the side-by-side superspecial test through Cardiff docks. Hindered by a broken centre differential, the car slid everywhere, making for a spectacular sight as he slid across the finish line and claimed the spoils in the Production category.
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