The search is on for suitable Mark 2 Ford Escorts for a number of the world’s top retired drivers to use on the forthcoming McRae Stages in September this year.

The McRae Stages, an annual event that forms part of the Scottish Rally Championship, will this year run as a tribute to Colin McRae, who lost his life in a helicopter crash last September, and according to reports in the UK motorsport press, invitations have been issued to a number of the sport’s leading drivers to compete.

Early indications are that Subaru team boss, David Richards, will team up with his former driver, Ari Vatanen, to do the event, despite not having co-driven for the Finn since 1981 when they won the World Rally Championship together.

Other former champions invited include Stig Blomqvist (aged 61), Hannu Mikkola (65) and Bjorn Waldegard (64). If the deal can be pulled off (and if suitable Mk.2 Escorts can be found), it would be a huge drawcard for UK rally fans.

The rules for the event require two-wheel-drive rally cars to start at the head of the field, with the invited drivers likely to start first on the road. The organisers, the Coltness Car Club, Colin McRae’s old car club, normally receive around 120 entries for the rally, however the possibility of attracting the stars mentioned would be a huge boost to the entry list as drivers eager to match themselves against the legends submit their entries.

Not only that, but the event is likely to attract thousands of spectators to the forests to watch what could be a never-to-be-repeated spectacle.

The acquisition of MK.2 Escorts seems likely to be the least of the club’s problems as there are hundreds of suitably-equipped Mk.2’s available in the UK, albeit at a price.

A full works-spec Mk.2 Escort with all the right gear costs in the vicinity of AUD $175,000 and, since being released in 1975, is still the most popular rally car ever, with hundreds being rallied each weekend.
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