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Colin McRae Stages 2008 – Roadtrip roundup!

1 December 2008 No Comment

Club members trip to the Colin McRae Stages and M Sport organised by Midway Motors.

Thursday 25th September

With an early start to get to Crymmych the coach left the Midway Garage at 8am. We travelled up the west coast via Aberystwyth then across to Welshpool and on to the Trout Hotel in Cockermouth.

Leaving at 4.45 it was a ten-minute run to M Sport HQ at Something Hall. On arriving we were offered tea and coffee and given the chance to spend lots of money on jackets, shirts and other items with the Ford/BP logos on them. After about half an hour a man who was to be our guide (Not Malcolm Wilson) arrived, he first took us to the museum.

There were four cars, a mk2 Escort in British Airways livery driven by Bjorn Waldegard on the 1977 RAC. We were told that this was not the original shell because Tiff Nedell had written it off. The second was a standard RS1700T a Mobil Escort RS Cosworth and Mathew Wilson’s Championship winning T car.
We then went into the workshops. Here everything was painted white, including the benches and vice. The floors and benches were spotless – just like our own garages! We were led into the transmission room and were shown a clutch about 8 inches diameter, 3inches thick and at a cost of about £14000. There were many shells of Focuses in various stages of build and one mk2 Escort. We were not allowed to take pictures of these cars for obvious reasons, but were allowed to take some pictures of Colin McRae’s 1999 Safari winning Focus. From the workshop we then went into the manor house to look at the offices and boardroom. After about two and a half hours it was back on the coach and the Trout Hotel.

Friday 26th September

Friday was a late start, we left for Perth at mid-day due to some of the others on the coach doing their trip of M Sport. Arrived at the Salutation Hotel in Perth at 4pm. We had time for a shower before our evening meal then it was off to Perth Race Course for the Rally Forum. It was like a who’s who of rallying from the 1970’s with the like of Mikkola, Waldegard, Andrew Cowan, Russell Brookes, Vatanen, Jim McRae and Malcolm Wilson. After two hours or so talking about Colin McRae and Ford Escorts it was over and time to leave for the hotel and a few nightcaps.

Saturday 27th September

Saturday we set off for stage 2 Errochty, first car was due at 10:43. We arrived in good time and watched near the start line for an hour or so, before going back to the coach. We called at Pitlochry for lunch then went on to stage 5 Craigvinean, first car due at 14:00. This time we had a 15minute walk, mostly up hill to a 90 right. After seeing all the top drivers and some of the quick locals going through, we could hear sirens, then a Land Rover passed by. Then a local fire engine appeared from the car park area followed by another fire engine and a rescue vehicle. It was time to leave and it had started to rain to. We heard later that Jimmy McRae had gone off down a bank and someone had phoned 999.

Sunday 27th September

Sunday morning and it was time to head home. Some were looking a bit rough after the night before, but we were all on board and started our 600mile journey at 10.15am. After two stops at Gretna and Welshpool we arrived in Crymmych at 10.15pm. We all had a very enjoyable trip, one that we will remember for a long time.
Many thanks must go to Midway Motors for a well organised tour to M Sport and the Colin McRae Forest Stages.

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