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RIP Colin Mcrae


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British police have officially confirmed that former World Rally Champion Colin McRae died in a helicopter crash yesterday.


Also killed were McRae's five-year-old son Johnny, six-year-old Ben Porcelli and 37-year-old Graeme Duncan.


Police were yesterday unable to confirm that it was McRae piloting the Squirrel Helicopter when it crashed and caught fire in a wooded area about a kilometre from the top driver's home in Lanarkshire, Scotland at about 1510 GMT.


There is a helipad adjacent to McRae's 16th-century home Jerviswood House.


Air Accident Investigators will carry out a full investigation into the cause of the crash.


The helicopter was so badly damaged that emergency services initially said it was difficult to tell how many people were on board.


An emergency helicopter was sent to the scene, where three ambulance crews and local fire services were in attendance.


An RAF helicopter had also been placed on standby.


The Times newspaper reports that McRae's friend, rally writer Jeremy Hart, described him as a very good pilot who regularly flew around the UK and Europe.


"As a sportsman he was a true hero," Hart told the Times, "as a driver Colin was misunderstood slightly as being reckless but everything you saw with him came from pure raw talent as opposed to being learnt. He was the Michael Schumacher of rally driving.


"It's so ironic that he should die in a helicopter crash when he had competed and had brushed with death so many times as a rally driver."


McRae, the son of five-times British rally champion Jimmy, began his career in 1986 on the local Scottish rally circuit where he learnt the skills that took him to the top of the sport and 25 victories in the World Rally Championship.


McRae made his debut in the World Rally Championship in 1987 at the Swedish rally.


It was when he joined the Subaru team in 1991 that his career began to blossom. He was British champion in 1991 and 1992 and made his breakthrough on the world stage in 1993 when he won the New Zealand Rally.


He was always popular in this country, and counted Rally New Zealand among his favourites for its fast and challenging stages.


In 1995 he wrapped up the world title on home soil in the last event of the season, edging out Subaru team mate Carlos Sainz. McRae, who finished runner-up in 1996 and 1997, joined Ford in 1999 and was runner-up again in 2001.


He moved to the Citroen team in 2003 but struggled to a disappointing seventh in the championship.


McRae, married with two children, launched a popular brand of computer games based on the World Rally championship.


He also competed in other forms of motor sport, driving a truck in the Paris-Dakar rally and taking part in the Le Mans 24-hour race.


He made a brief return to the WRC in October last year, replacing defending champion Sebastian Loeb in the Citroen team for the Rally of Turkey, the 146th of his career, after the Frenchman broke his arm in a bicycle accident.


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my friend mark tapper is a rally driver and he reckons the motto with the rally crew is "champagne or hospital".....i.e win or go so hard you crash....


so i dunno if this is ironic or not but definitley a ratshit buzz for the wrc.....



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