This afternoon - at around lunchtime, as it happens - marked the 20th anniversary of the moment that Colin McRae and Derek Ringer crossed the finish line of Clocaenog East to win the Network Q RAC Rally for the second year in succession and become Britain’s first World Rally Champions.
Winning the title with an astonishing display of speed on the closing event was an incredible achievement by the young Scot - not least because of the mental fortitude that he required to pick himself up after the penultimate round in Catalunya. There he’d been locked in a tussle with team-mate and championship rival Carlos Sainz - only to be informed by Prodrive/Subaru team boss David Richards that the pair should hold station in the closing stages.
Colin refused to accept this, so Subaru dispatched a bunch of team officials to the final few kilometres of the last stage to get him to slow down. Colin changed up a gear as he passed them by. Then later in service, he deliberately picked up a time penalty to hand the win back to Sainz - but not until he’d kicked a wastebin around the Subaru truck in frustration. It was an amazing sulk in public from one of the sport’s top stars - it’s hard to imagine one that’s matched it since, come to think of it - and it was easy to see how it could have resulted in a first-day retirement on the RAC as Colin over-stretched himself in a bid for revenge.