The rally world is paying tribute to Colin McRae in San Marino. 10 years after he passed away the world championship winners gave themselves the honor to participate in this event.
Paolo Diana, Christoph Klausner, Frank Kelly … Those are the names that make the crowds cheer. Children have their eyes and mouths wide open, their fathers remember the time when they used to drive a rally car 20 years ago, crazy fans are running alongside the road and the photographers capture unique moments. But before I lose myself in enthusiams again let us start from the beginning.
Three videographers of our team decided to drive all the way down to San Marino with the expectation of spending an adventurous week among rally fans from all over the world. And oh, how right we were. Earlier this year we had attended the Eifel Rallye Festival in Daun, Germany, but THIS was just plain crazy.
Having arrived at the Rallye Center you were welcomed by hundreds of fans surrounding a roundabout right in front of it – who were patiently waiting for the rally cars to drive by and drift around there. And the rally had not even started then! From then on sleep was only optional because it was rally time. When we did recce we were astonished at how challenging the stages were: Steep, narrow and winding roads and passages through the historic districts of San Marino gave the rally a unique and thrilling character. On Friday morning we started our adventure with the shakedown which presented a brilliant atmosphere of large crowds of spectators as well as constant sunshine. After we had been warmed up for the upcoming action the evening stages were on schedule. In the first leg we chose a section with 3 consecutive hairpins and for the second leg we drove closer to the historic part of San Marino and captured some brilliant fast-paced scenes. After very few hours of sleep the next day was under the slogan „Jumps, Hairpins and Madness“. No wonder because one of our cameramen did some full-frontal shots of the infamous „Le Tane“-jump and the other two covered the even more infamous hairpins closer to the end of that stage. The marshals there were literally unable to control the sheer masses of fans who were even crazy enough to stand on the track to get even closer to their favorite drivers – but that was only a glimpse of how Group B had been once.
But the real highlight of the rally was still to come on Sunday when all the world rally champions participated in Colin’s Parade of the stage „The Legend“. We were close up to the action when Thierry Neuville showed some donuts in front of the spectators, when Petter Solberg leaned out of his Subaru’s car waving at all the fans, when Ari Vatanen was chatting with Stig Blomqvist and when Alister McRae drove Colin’s legenday Subaru Legacy. I honestly have no idea how this event can be surpassed by anything in this world. This was literally heaven! It is simply impossible to describe the complete extent of this event in words, so we decided to create a video that expresses how it feels to be there – to feel the madness, the power and the awe. Sometimes in life you simply have to enjoy something, and this is one of these moments that you will never forget.
At that point the three videographers had to drive home reluctantly but with a big smile on their faces, remebering those unique days in honor of a rally legend. Cheers, this one’s for you, Colin.