While much of the attention on next Saturday's Colin McRae Forest Stages will focus on the rally legends contesting the event in memory of the 1995 world champion, there are some important loose ends to tie up in the County Saab MSA Scottish Championship.

Jimmy Girvan secured his second Scottish title after David Bogie crashed out on the Merrick Forest Stages earlier this month. The spotlight on this final round will now switch to Group N for showroom-spec cars - in which Steven Clark leads Barry Groundwater by a single point - and the fight for the Junior Championship.

These contests will be played out in front of what are expected to be huge crowds, who will flock to the famous Perthshire stages to witness a true one-off event in memory of Colin McRae who died in a helicopter crash a year ago, along with his son Johnny, and family friends Ben Porcelli and Graeme Duncan.

Those competing include world champions Bjorn Waldegaard, Ari Vatanen, Hannu Mikkola, Stig Blomquist and Louise Aitken-Walker, and a string of British and Scottish title holders - headed by Jimmy and Alister McRae, with, amongst others, Russell Brookes, Malcolm Wilson and, notably, Andrew Cowan, who won his Scottish crown in 1976, and went on to set up the Mitsubishi Ralliart world rally team.

Steven Clark, who will have experienced co-driver Michelle Falconer on board, is determined to put on a good show in front of the crowds on what is likely to be his last event at the wheel of his 11-year-old Mitsubishi Evo 4.

"My car is up for sale but I won't be holding back because of that," Clark said. "There will be thousands of spectators expecting to be entertained and we'll do our best to put some smiles on faces.

"The only way I can be sure of winning Class 8 and GpN is to beat Barry so I'll be going flat out from the start - and with the event being a tribute to Colin McRae, who was always flat out it's the best way to show my respect for an amazing talent."

Clark has been doing the sums, and outlined the various permutations: "Barry needs to finish fifth SRC crew or above to have any chance of taking GpN", he explained. "Sixth would see him finish on the same points as me, assuming I didn't improve on my score, but I would take it by virtue of having a higher best score.

"If Barry finishes 5th, then I need to be 6th or better to win. If he finishes 4th, and I am 5th, we would both be on the same score, each with a 26, two 25's, two 24's and a 23 as our counting scores. However, I would take the title, since I scored my 26 earlier in the year. If he finishes 3rd or above, I must beat him to take it!"

Class 8 (4WD GpN over 2000cc) is even tighter, with both men tied in the points - the Elgin driver again having the advantage after scoring higher earlier in the year.

Stonehaven's Groundwater, meanwhile, is under no illusions about the task facing him.

"Due to the points difference between me and Steven the only thing for me to do is to go for maximum attack and try to get a few cars between me and him by the day's end", said Groundwater, " It's a tall order seeing how the SRC is so closely fought nowadays, but realistically, where I am overall and in GpN points-wise at the moment is where I am likely to finish off the year".

Groundwater and regular navigator Jude Wylie from Jedburgh, will have been buoyed by their GpN win on the Merrick where they finished sixth overall, thirteen seconds ahead of Clark, in their Mitsubishi Evo 9.

Dumfries star David Bogie might have missed out on the overall championship this year, but he holds dear his maiden SRC victory on last year's McRae Stages - which went ahead two weeks after the helicopter crash.

Reflecting on that sombre occasion, Bogie said: "It was an emotional victory, that's for sure - and in all my motorsport career so far, I regard it as my most special day yet".

The car driven by Bogie that day was the Toyota Corolla WRC - hired at the eleventh hour from McGeehan Motorsport in Northern Ireland - in which he has contested the SRC throughout this season.

However, the car sustained serious damage when Bogie and co-driver Kevin Rae crashed heavily on the Merrick, resulting in it being shipped to Holland to be re-jigged.

For the McRae Stages, Bogie will be behind the wheel of an '05-plate Ford Focus WRC - again from McGeehan Motorsport.

However, this time there is a catch - the car is left-hand drive - something the 21-year-old driver has never experienced.

"It's certainly going to be a steep-learning curve", said Bogie. "I'm getting to test it at Greystoke in Cumbria on Wednesday [September 24] with Malcolm and Matthew Wilson, so hopefully I'll get a feel for the car - it's certainly going to be very different.

"As far as the 'McRae' is concerned, it'll be a case of watching my times, and making sure I get to the end".

In the Scottish Junior Championship, Newton Stewart's Mark McCulloch leads fellow Peugeot 205 GTi competitor Euan Duncan of Aberdeen by one point, but has the advantage once dropped scores are taken into account.

"I'm aiming for a top three finish on the McRae in order to secure both the junior title, and Class 3," said Mark. "I'm fairly nervous about the event but I'm just going to drive as I have all year and hopefully everything will come good".

One young driver on a charge is Lanarkshire's Alick Kerr who goes into the Perthshire event on the back of one of his best results to date - an impressive fourth overall on last weekend's Autumn Stages in Dumfriesshire in his Ford Fiesta ST.

"We need other people to run into difficulty if we are to have a chance of taking the Scottish junior title," said Kerr, "but as long as we get a sensible finish we have a good chance of winning our championship class."

As a precursor to the main event, a guest forum is being held on Friday night at Rally HQ at Perth racecourse, featuring a number of the top stars. While tickets are limited and will be sold on a first come first serve basis, a giant screen will relay the forum to those outside the venue.

All proceeds from the forum - which starts at 8.30pm - will go to the McRae Vision Trust, established to help up and coming young rally drivers, and to support social projects for children.