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  Home > Specials > Literature > General literature > The Real McRae
The Real McRae
Foreword is, somewhat surprisingly, written by Tommi Makinen. Besides the text, book has two picture sections, four pages each. Written in 2001, the book includes most moments of Colin McRae's career, only move to Citroen takes place later.

First chapter covers the Scottish history and family background, Lanark as birthplace and and Colin's childhood years. As well as letting Colin himself go through these, also his father Jimmy and mother Margaret have a word too. Second chapter charts events after Colin moves from bikes to cars up until he got signed up by Prodrive. In following chapter he starts doing full assault on British Championship and selected WRC outings from 1991, gradually building towards complete WRC programme in 1994.

Chapter titled The Final Ascent focuses on Colin's "rookie season", particularly covering McRae's first home win at RAC 1994 and drama related to that. Then focus moves on to cover the ups and downs, tragic and triumph of the championship winning 1995 season. Particularly interesting are Colin's views on dramatic 1994 RAC win and team-orders in 1995 Catalunya. Fifth chapter starts with McRae's unsuccessful title defence in 1996 but soon turns to his three partnerships, explaining how Derek Ringer was replaced by Nicky Grist and how Colin met and got married with his wife Alison. That story is also told by Alison herself, in longer version.

Changing times, the sixth chapter, recounts not only the 1997 and 1998 seasons but also tells a story behind McRae's switch from Subaru to Ford with a record salary. In next chapter the 1999 season is detailed, including not only the rallies of the season but team and car development as well. My Greatest Escape concentrates mostly on Colin's serious accident in Corsica 2000, telling the story through multiple eyes including Colin and Nicky but also parents Jimmy and Margaret, wife Alison and team boss Wilson, amongst others.

Because book is written in 2001, most of the remaining chapters cover issues other than rally results. In Friends and Rivals Colin talks about fellow drivers, including multiple-time team-mate Carlos Sainz, the four-time world champions Makinen and Kankkunen, his childhood idol Vatanen and greatest home threat Burns. In Team Game the workings of a WRC team and it's car are revealed, training and pre-rally activities like recce are explained and some extravagant stories from past years are recounted.

In Centre Stage the championship and new developments within the sport are discussed. This is interesting because in middle of 2001 many of the reforms now in use were still discussed. Most of the chapter is taken up by Colin's appraisal of WRC events, it's not surprising that he rates Monte Carlo as worst but it might be a surprise that Great Britain is not his favourite, instead Safari, Finland, New Zealand and Australia all are.

In Home Ground Colin talks about home in Lanark and holiday home in Majorca, his various hobbies and sports, his family, pains of being a celebrity and has thoughts about young rally drivers. The final chapter goes over the 2001 season as far as it got by the time book went to print - which is from Monte Carlo to Rally Finland.

 1 - A Town Fit for Heroes......1
 2 - Keeping it the Family.....18
 3 - Into the Blue.............35
 4 - The Final Ascent..........52
 5 - Partners..................71
 6 - Changing Times............87
 7 - Focus of Attention.......106
 8 - My Greatest Escape.......124
 9 - Friends and Rivals.......152
10 - Team Game................167
11 - Centre Stage.............184
12 - Home Ground..............205
13 - Renewed Challenge........222

The Real McRae
Published in Great Britain (2001)
by Ebury Press / Random House

240 pages
ISBN: 0091880904