A world record 1000 Subaru Imprezas are expected to descend on Prodrive's Banbury headquarters at the end of next month, as the marque community gathers to pay a fitting tribute to the late Colin McRae.

Led by the Scot's 1995 World Rally Championship-winning Impreza 555, a convoy of Subarus will leave McRae's home town of Lanark at 10am on Saturday 30 August before heading down the A74, M6, M42 and the M40 to arrive at Prodrive later the same day.

The following day, organisers of the McRae Gathering expect more than 1000 Subarus from all over the UK to gather at the Banbury factory, which was a second home for McRae during the most successful years of his rallying career - first winning the British Rally Championship in a Subaru Legacy in 1991 and 1992, before graduating to the works team Impreza and becoming Britain's first world rally champion in 1995.

McRae also helped Subaru win the manufacturers' championship in 1996 and 1997, and his 1996 Group A Impreza 555 will lead the convoy up the M40 for the final leg of its journey from Banbury to Prodrive's proving ground in Warwickshire.

Having just set a world record for a gathering of Subarus, the aim is then to set a world record for a parade of Subarus, as all the cars circulate around Prodrive's two-mile test track. As a final mark of respect, the Subarus will park up on the mile-long straight to spell out the name Colin McRae in letters more than 100 feet tall and visible to anyone flying into nearby Birmingham International airport.

"Colin was not only an exceptional driver, but also a remarkable person and a great friend to everyone at Prodrive," Prodrive chairman David Richards, who was instrumental in putting the young McRae into a Subaru and nurturing his talent, reflected, "Single-handedly, he brought the sport of rallying into everyone's living room, whether it was through his sideways exploits in the forest or through the many video games which bore his name. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Colin than a gathering of so many Subarus, a car for which he did so much to make as popular as it is today."

The McRae Gathering is only open to Subarus and, to take part, all cars must bear the special 'McRae Gathering' plate. There is an entry charge of ?10 for each car and all proceeds will go to the McRae family's nominated charities.

More information available on www.mcrae-gathering.co.uk



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