Former World Rally Champion Colin McRae has passed away following a freak helicopter accident near his home in Lanarkshire, Scotland, last night. With three other people on board, including his son Johnny, McRae was piloting the helicopter when it came down at around 4pm yesterday afternoon. The weather in the area was quite gusty, but visibility was good and McRae knew the area and terrain very well. Colin (39) would often fly all over the country and was a very experienced pilot. But now the McRae family grieves for the loss of their husband and father. Colin’s five year old son Johnny, his friend, six year old Ben Porcelli (6) and Graeme Duncan (37) also passed away in the crash.
Fellow Scot David Coulthard paid his respects to the McRae family and exclaimed his shock at the accident while on the Spa grid preparing for the Belgian Grand Prix.
It’s shocking, Colin was a friend, as is his lovely wife Alison and the family. So obviously there’s disbelief here in the whole paddock that the McRaes have been affected in this way, and obviously another family as well. It’s tragic circumstances. David Coulthard.
Finnish Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen was another racer to have been inspired by McRae during his formative years in lower formulae.
It’s really, really sad to hear the news. His driving style and his way of even living was what captured people’s imagination. He was really daring, always pushing it further.
The first time I met him was the Rally Finland in 1995, when he rolled his Subaru twice. I went to ask for his autograph, and I still have it. Heikki Kovalainen.
Colin is survived by his loving wife Alison and their nine-year-old daughter, Hollie.