This weekend Wales hosts the final round of the 2014 World Rally Championship. Along with Monte Carlo and Finland, it’s one of the best rallies of the year.
As the traditional championship curtain-closer, the Welsh forests have witnessed some incredible title fights over the years.
One of the more dramatic was 2001. Local hero Colin McRae led going into the final round on 42 points, with Tommi Makinen trailing by one point and Richard Burns a single point further back on 40.
Essentially, whoever won the rally would win the title. Makinen’s charge was over early, tearing a wheel off on Stage Two.
In characteristic style, McRae vowed to attack from Stage One and the result was something of the most breathtaking onboard footage ever seen.
Above is footage from SS2, which Colin won by 1.8sec from Marcus Gronholm. His commitment is off the scale, driving the car to its limit and beyond, reaching speeds of 210km/h.
Sadly, driving at such speeds can only be sustained for so long and on Stage Four a slightly ambitious cut sent McRae into one of the biggest crashes of his career.
Having seen McRae’s demolished car, the distraction caused Burns to almost throw it off the road less than a kilometre later. The Englishman recovered and went on to win his first and only world title by a single point.