Belfast Telegraph

Kris Meeke to honour Colin McRae in the McRae Rally Challenge at the Knockhill

By Sammy Hamill

Kris Meeke was quick to dedicate his first World rally championship win last month to his late friend and mentor Colin McRae. And this weekend he will pay another tribute to the great Scot by taking part in the McRae Rally Challenge at the Knockhill circuit near Edinburgh.

The Challenge, on May 16/17, marks the 20th anniversary of McRae winning the World championship in 1995 and Meeke was among the first to say he would be there.

Now it has emerged that he will drive a Citroen Xsara WRC, a car once used by McRae when he was part of the French factory team in 2003.

Indeed, the Citroen team have restored the Xsara to the original livery it carried back then.

"I need to say a huge thanks to Citroen Racing for doing this. It's obviously a special event for me and Citroen have made sure it is going to be even more special," said Rally Argentina winner Meeke.

"The car in question will be in the livery of the day and it's actually one that Colin drove, so for me this is a terrific way of paying tribute to him.

"I have actually driven the car once or twice before, on the Isle of Man when Citroen were developing their C4, and I did some back-to-back runs.

"But it'll be particularly special to be driving a works car that Colin actually drove himself."

McRae was Meeke's major benefactor in the early days, taking him to live with his family in Scotland and financing his progress through the junior ranks of the British and World championships. He was killed in a helicopter crash in 2007.

Others who will be taking part in the McRae Challenge include former World champion Stig Blomqvist, current leader of the British Touring Car Championship Gordon Sheddon and Colin's brother Alister, who is returning home from Australia.

Meeke will be back in World championship action next week in Portugal.

Belfast Telegraph


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