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Tributes for McRae

The Isle of Man's motor sport community has paid tribute to former World Rally champion Colin McRae, who has died along with his young son in a helicopter crash.

The 1995 world rally champion had competed on the island as recently as May's RBSI Manx Rally.

He first appeared here in 1987 in the National Rally Series, driving a Vauxhall Nova, but really came to the fore on the Manx International in 1990, when finishing third in a Ford Sierra Cosworth.

The following year he was signed by the Rothmans Subaru factory team, and dominated the British Championship, including victory in the Manx International, a success he repeated the following year before graduating to the world championship.

He returned to the Manx stages, which he often stated were among the best in the world, in May this year in a one-off drive in his own Mark II Ford Escort, helping to support the Liver Foundation charity.

Against much more powerful cars and weather conditions not suited to his two-wheel drive car, he had wowed spectators with his climb to fifth overall before retiring with mechanical problems on the penultimate stage.

Away from rallying, Colin was also a regular visitor to the island. Along with brother Alister he was a frequent spectator at the TT and Manx Grand Prix, and he often came over on spare weekends to do some off road motorcycling.

It was through these visits that he became well known to many locals, including David and Juan Knight, and David and Mark Higgins.

David says he was an inspirational figure: (audio attached)

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