Colin McRae took a break last weekend from his world championship quest with the Ford Martini World Rally team, to drive a Ford Puma Super 1600 rally car on the Speyside Stages Rally in Scotland.

Making the Puma fly at high speeds through the rally's 49 miles of forest stages, McRae gave rally fans a huge thrill and demonstrated the pace of the Super 1600 model of Ford's compact coupe.

The Scotsman's speed in the unfamiliar car increased stage by stage as he gained experience. By stage 7 he set fastest time overall, beating a host of more powerful 300bhp Subaru and Mitsubishi 4x4 cars. The front/wheel drive Puma was running as a course car and was not eligible to win the event.

"The atmosphere on this event was wonderful," enthused Colin, "and I really enjoyed getting back to my roots. The Puma Super 1600 is clearly a great car for the rally stars of tomorrow to show off their skills. The brakes are fantastic, the steering responsive and the chassis is agile. But with only front wheel drive, traction out of slow junctions is naturally not as good as a 4x4 car.

"Of course, it's completely different from my four-wheel-drive Focus RS WRC rally car, but it's a fast, challenging drive and a good platform on which to build a career in rallying."

McRae's drive on Speyside was part of his continuing support for the 'Ford Racing Colin McRae Ladder of Opportunity' - Ford's scholarship programme which provides a framework for young people to forge a career in rallying.

The Puma Super 1600 is the top model in Ford's three-step 'Ladder of Opportunity' - the car many young rally drivers aspire to after developing their skills in robust Ford Ka rally cars, and then progressing to the faster Puma 1400 rally cars.



Loading Comments...