The Flying Scotsman attempted his first WRC rally in 1987 at the Rally Sweden driving a Vauxhall Nova and from there started a phenomenal career as he became the face of rally racing around the world.
He participated in the 1988 Rally Sweden finishing 15th driving a Ford Sierra and finished an amazing fifth place in a Sierra Cosworth. McRae signed with the Subaru British Rally Team in 1991 and was promoted to the World Rally Championship in 1993 after being crowned British Rally Champion in the two years he drove for the British team.
In 1993 he joined Ari Vatanen at Subaru and brought them their first victory in New Zealand. The next year he won two events and finished fourth in the standings.
1995 marked the most important of his career as he won two events and had important points finishes that helped him best two-time champion Carlos Sainz in winning his only World Rally Championship. He also played an important role in Subaru winning the manufacturer's championship.
He returned in 1996 to defend his title, but despite winning three events, he proved no match for Mitsubishi's Tommi Makinen. McRae won five races the year after, but due to the high number of DNFs, he finished second in the standings to Makinen by one point.
In 1998 McRae won three events but finished third in the standings. McRae was instrumental in Subaru's third consecutive manufacturer's title. He left Subaru to join the Ford Rally Team to pilot their all-new Focus. In the new car, he won two consecutive events, but only finished in the points one more time as the car was plagued with problems.
McRae won two events in 2000 and fared better than the year before by finishing fourth in the standings. He won three events in 2001 but crashed out of the final round of the year finishing second to Richard Burns by two points and missing out on a second championship once again.
In 2002, McRae won two events and finished third in the standings. At the time, he had set the record for more WRC wins. After both McRae and Carlos Sainz were not resigned by Ford, both joined the Citroen Rally Team as they joined Sebastien Loeb.
McRae finished second at the opening event, the Rally Monte Carlo. The rest of his season was lackluster though and as a result with the new two-car rule in place, Citroen opted to keep Carlos Sainz who was more successful.
Colin McRae did not receive a contract from another team and as a result found himself without a drive. He returned to the WRC-level in 2005 participating in a Skoda Fabia in two events, and even finished in the top ten in one.
He never did receive another WRC drive, but participated in the Dakar, Race of Champions, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the X-Games. His line of rally video games has become the most popular series available and has been sold in many countries around the world.
In 2007, McRae died in a tragic helicopter accident along with his son Johnny.
McRae made a name for himself by being extremely fast, and having a driving style that much resembled those that participated in the Group B cars. His driving and his personality quickly made him rally racing's most recognizable figure and a worldwide phenomenon.
Rest in Peace Colin