Motorsport legend and ex Subaru World Rally Team driver Colin McRae will make a sensational one-off competitive appearance in a works-prepared Impreza WRC at the Italian Bettega Memorial Rallysprint on December 11 and 12. The 36-year-old Scot,...
Motorsport legend and ex Subaru World Rally Team driver Colin McRae will make a sensational one-off competitive appearance in a works-prepared Impreza WRC at the Italian Bettega Memorial Rallysprint on December 11 and 12.
The 36-year-old Scot, who won the 1995 World Rally Championship at the wheel of a Group 'A' Impreza, will drive the latest evolution of the car, the WRC2004, with which Petter Solberg has claimed five WRC wins so far this season. Equipped with the latest Subaru machinery, McRae, who won Bettega in 1991, 1992 and 1993, will compete head-to-head with a host of full time WRC drivers, top privateers and stars from other forms of motorsport.
Works entries for this year's 20th anniversary event are expected from the Ford, Skoda and Mitsubishi WRC teams, while Moto GP champion Valentino Rossi will swap two for four wheels when he takes the start in a Toyota Corolla WRC. Representing the host nation, and with an unbeaten record of six Bettega victories, Subaru driver Andrea Navarra is aiming for a hat-trick after winning the event in 2002 and 2003.
"I'm really looking forward to the event, it's good to have a bit of competition again." McRae said. "I think I'll adapt quite quickly to the new Impreza. Although it hasn't got much in common with the one I used to drive, it's such a versatile car that hopefully, given a bit of practise, I'll be able get it set-up to my liking."
"Navarra's got a good record there and he's going to be difficult to beat in front of his home crowd, but I'll certainly give it my best shot. Although Bettega's a bit of fun it's a very competitive event too, when flag drops the attitude changes and I'm out there to try and win." McRae added.
The knockout contest takes place in a mixed-surface arena that resembles a WRC superspecial stage and includes one heat run in the dark on Saturday night. It is one of the most popular motorsport events to take place at the Bologna Motor Show and was created in the memory of Lancia factory rally driver Attilio Bettega.
"The organisers of the Bettega rallysprint invited Colin and the team to come together for this special occasion and we were happy to help," said Toshi Azuma, Subaru's manufacturer principal.
"I'm pleased to have the opportunity to reunite one of our previous young champions with the latest car for Bettega, and I'm sure both Colin and the spectators will enjoy the experience. I just hope he remembers how to drive it." He added.