This Week in Ford Racing August 10, 1999

FIA World Rally

Jimmy McRae, father and manager to Colin, was British Rally Champion driver five times between 1981 and 1988. Today the 55-year old Scotsman drives in Historic Rallies and also plays an active role in his son's assault on the World Rally Championship. On every rally Jimmy acts as Colin's gravel crew - driving through every stage before the competing cars and reporting the latest news of changing conditions to give Colin and the Ford Martini World Rally team time to optimize the tyre choice or suspension set up of the Ford Focus.

Interview with Jimmy McRae with regards to Colin's year so far. 10 Questions for Jimmy

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE NEW FORD FOCUS WORLD RALLY CAR? "The Focus has already shown that it has loads of potential, it will take time to sort out the small problems but as a whole package it is very exciting."

IS IT A MILLION MILES AWAY FROM THE CARS THAT YOU DROVE IN YOUR CAREER OR ARE THERE SOME SIMILARITIES? "Yes, maybe not a million miles away but with modern technology everything is much more refined, especially with the suspension, transmission and differentials."

HOW DO YOU SEE THE 1999 CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS, CAN COLIN WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP? "The 1999 drivers championship is probably out of reach now after the New Zealand retirement, but in rallying you never know!"

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE PROGRESS FORD HAS MADE SO FAR THIS SEASON, ESPECIALLY SINCE THIS YEAR WAS MEANT TO BE A DEVELOPMENT YEAR? "It has been very good but in a strange way it almost started too well and built everybody's hopes up too quickly."

IN YOUR OPIONION WHAT ARE COLIN'S STRENGTHS AS A WORLD RALLY DRIVER? "Speed, determination and good mechanical knowledge."

HOW DO YOU VIEW WORLD RALLYING AS A SPORT? "I have been involved in the sport now for 26 years. I think that should answer your question!"

DO YOU THINK THAT IT WILL BECOME AS POPULAR AS FORMULA ONE? "It depends on TV coverage but there is no reason why it shouldn't."

WHAT WAS COLIN LIKE AS A CHILD - WAS HE ALWAYS COMPETITIVE? "Yes, very competitive and very determined."

DID YOU TEACH HIM TO DRIVE ON ROAD AND RALLY TRACK? "No, he watched me as a small child and as soon as he was tall enough to reach the pedals he was off."

IF COLIN WASN'T A RALLY DRIVER WHAT CAREER DO YOU THINK HE MIGHT HAVE HAD? "Something in a competitive sport and connected with speed."