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Corgi VA99900 Ford Focus World Rally Championship, Monte Carlo Rally 2001

Colin McRae was Britain’s most successful rally driver, winning the World Championship in 1995 and taking victory in 25 World Championship events. Colin’s flamboyant, sideways driving style, whether on the snows of Sweden, the rocky unforgiving roads of the Acropolis or on the ultimate challenge through the Sahara on the Dakar, endeared him to fans and rivals around the world.

Colin McRae Motorsport Ltd & Corgi have teamed up to produce a collection of 1:43 scale die-cast replica models as a lasting memorial to Colin McRae MBE. The full collection of 14 models will be released between 2009 and the end of 2011.

Driving the car modelled here, McRae and Grist started 2001 well, leading the Monte Carlo Rally until the Focus’s fly-by-wire throttle system failed on the last day. Similar problems blighted their next three rallies so with zero points after four events the pair simply had to start winning to keep any championship hopes alive, and they did; scoring back to back wins on Rounds 5, 6 and 7 in Argentina, Cyprus, and Greece then finishing 3rd in Finland and 2nd in New Zealand. However the duo failed to score in the next three events meaning the last round of an exciting season was crucial.

McRae and Grist started the 2001 season’s final round, The Rally of Great Britain, leading the Championship with 42 points, followed by Tommi Mäkinen on 41 and Richard Burns on 40. McRae
looked quick from the off, winning the Superspecial and taking an early lead as Mäkinen crashed out. Burns was fourth. However, later that day, McRae dropped a wheel too far into a cut on a fast 5th gear corner and rolled the Focus heavily which resulted in retirement. Burns then drove a steady event to finish 3rd and clinch the Championship by 2 points.

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