Sata Rally Acores winner Bruno Magalhaes was handed another prestigious award by a panel of judges after crossing the victory ramp, as his performance on the island event netted him the inaugural Colin McRae Flat Out nomination.
IRC's motorsport development manager Jean-Pierre Nicolas, Eurosport Events' director of editorial and programme development Gilbert Roy, and Colin's father Jim McRae decided on Magalhaes as the most deserving driver, after the 30-year old doggedly fought back from a gearbox fault in his Peugeot Sport Portugal-run 207 Super 2000 to regain first place on the final stage of the challenging gravel event.
Kris Meeke, who battled several punctures to finish second, and Andreas Mikkelsen, who recovered from a scary moment when he encountered a herd of cows to
claim fourth were shortlisted for the award.
"It's a pleasure to give this trophy to Bruno," Nicolas said, "After discussing with Jimmy McRae and Gilbert Roy, we decided that Colin's fighting spirit was best shown by Bruno, who has done a really fantastic rally. We hope he will fight again on the next rally to compete for the second trophy."
After accepting the award, Magalhaes admitted that it was 'a big honour' to receive something named in honour of his rallying hero.
"He was the driver who impressed me the most," he said of the Scot, "I remember him in Rally of Portugal in 1999, when he won the first two special stages by one minute over the other guys and won the rally. He was incredible so, for me, it's an honour to receive this gift because Colin is a hero."
"Even though he had good knowledge of the stages from before, he's new to the IRC, so to go at the pace he did obviously proves he's got a load of talent," McRae Sr added, "I'm very pleased for him and it's also a great thing to hear that Colin was his hero when he was growing up."
The Colin McRae Flat Out Trophy will be presented on all remaining rounds of the IRC with an end-of-season trophy, the Colin McRae IRC Flat Out Driver of the Year, also being awarded at the IRC's end of season award ceremony.