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  • Writer's pictureSteve Jones

Colin McRae’s World Championship win voted top Motorsport Memory by Autosport International fans.

[Image courtesy of Autosport International]

Ahead of next week’s Autosport International show, fans were asked to vote for their favourite motorsport memory from a shortlist chosen by a panel including three-time Formula 1 World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE. Autosport and Race Against Dementia can now reveal the epic 1995 World Rally Championship win from fellow Scot, Colin McRae, topped the poll.

McRae’s cut-throat battle with Carlos Sainz led to a dramatic showdown between the Subaru teammates. It made icons of both McRae and the iconic blue Subaru with its trademark gold wheels, creating a legend that continued after his untimely death in 2007. On many of the Welsh stages McRae and co-driver, Derek Ringer, were more than a second per mile clear of the competition in treacherous and foggy conditions. McRae was the first British driver to win the World Rally Championship, clinched after setting the fastest times on 18 of the 28 stages to win his home rally.

The second most popular memory was from the 24 hours of Le Mans. The magic of Hollywood brought the 1966 Ford versus Ferrari battle back to public prominence recently with the 2019 blockbuster Ford v Ferrari, telling the story of Ferrari’s winning streak at Le Mans being finally broken by the American car giant. Ford and its GT40, designed with the sole intention of crushing Ferrari, took victory with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon at the wheel, despite the sister car of Ken Miles and Denny Hulme attempting a dead heat.

Completing the podium of memories was one of Sir Jackie’s greatest ever drives. The 1968 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, one of the most dangerous circuits in the world, was hailed by many as one of the most impressive drives in Formula 1 history. Sir Jackie won by an incredible four minutes in wet, foggy conditions. He did this with his customary style, pace, car control… and a broken wrist!

These three incredible moments will be evoked as part of a greatest ten Motorsport Memories gallery at Autosport International, held at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on 12-15 January 2023. The ten prints, supplied by Motorsport Images, will be signed by Sir Jackie and raffled, along with many other motorsport items, to raise funds and awareness for Race Against Dementia’s research. Fans can text MEMORY to 70215 to enter the free prize draw.

Sir Jackie Stewart, OBE said: “A sincere thank you to all the fans who suggested memories to add to the shortlist and then took the time to vote. There are so many memories to savour, but Colin’s achievements make him a worthy winner. He put British rallying back on the map, and brought so many new fans to the sport. His speed, talent and unique personality made him a fan favourite and the sport truly misses him.”

Ben Whibley, Autosport International event director, states: “Having endurance racing, F1 and rallying in the top three of the poll shows the breadth of Autosport International’s fanbase. It reflects the range of cars and stars that the public can see next week in Birmingham. We are proud to support Race Against Dementia to share the charity’s fundraising activities and Motorsport Memories with our expected 90,000 visitors. Having Sir Jackie visit the gallery and share his own memories as well as his pioneering vision for the charity is an honour.”

The 2023 Autosport International and Performance & Tuning Car Show takes place from 12 - 15 January at the NEC in Birmingham. Tickets for public and trade are now available. Get yours here:

Fans can support their work by texting MEMORY to 70215 to enter the free prize draw and make a voluntary donation.

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