But before the next BTCC rounds I had been invited to compete in the first ever McRae Rally Challenge, at my home circuit of Knockhill over the weekend of May 16-17. This special rally festival took place to mark the 20th Anniversary of Colin McRae’s 1995 World Rally Championship win, but touring car racing fans were also catered for, with fellow BTTC driver Gordon Shedden also invited to compete. We both drove Mk 2 Ford Escorts in what was our first ever rally event. It is something I've never done before, and I haven't even raced rear wheel drive before.
First of all I'd like to say a massive thank you to Peter Outram for offering his newly-built Escort Mk 2 for the Rally Challenge. He's spent the last few years building the Mk 2 rally car and he let me take it out for its first ever event, with him as my co-driver. It was an awesome car to drive and certainly put a smile on my face. Peter works for Eldon Tool and Engineering, which is the manufacturing arm of Laser Tools, and based in Sheffield. With this involvement he has been keeping a close interest in our BTCC team and is a regular supporter at the rounds.
What a great weekend it was! Yes, there were one or two issues (including the throttle jamming on full which led to a lock up and trip in the gravel!), and also clipped a tyre and bent the axle (sorry Peter…). But with our amazing support team (thanks particularly to Anthony Windle and Ian Pashley) we only missed a couple stages. We didn't quite have the power of some of the guys out there, but what we did have was an awesome weekend!