Sad end to McRae's return

Sad end to McRae's returnFrom General Article [ 18/09/2005 ].
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Colin McRae achieved his stated aim of bringing the best result of the season for the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team when he finished seventh on Rally GB. Team mate Armin Schwarz ended the British event 14th. The Fabia WRC 05 proved reliable throughout the three-day event and McRae was able to show his characteristic speed despite having been out of the sport for nearly two years.

Today’s final leg was halted after just two of the planned four stages. An accident involving the Peugeot of Markko Martin and Michael Park stopped the Margam stage and it was confirmed that Park’s injuries had proved mortal. It was the WRC’s first fatality in 12 years.

The World Rally Championship now heads for Rally Japan (September 30-October 2) where the Škoda Motorsport World Rally Team will be represented by Armin Schwarz and Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen.

Quotes:

Colin McRae: “Overall we did what we came to do. It would have been nice to have finished higher but we also had to be realistic once we saw the conditions on the opening morning. The car was fine and we have been able to see what we can do for the future. I’ve enjoyed the event and proved to myself how much I want to come back to the sport. Obviously we have had a sad end to the rally with the death of Michael Park. He was one of the championship’s real characters and a really genuine person. Nicky, my co-driver, has also lost a very close friend.”

Martin Muehlmeier (Head of Škoda Motorsport): “Colin did a very good rally here. We can also be very happy with the publicity that his entry has created for the Škoda brand and we have seen greater interest in our team than ever before. On behalf of the team I must also send our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Michael Park."