The early days of Subaru in the WRC were hampered by unreliability that was not unexpected with a new Group A car.
McRae had dominated the British Rally Championship in 1991 and 1992, but as the all-new Impreza development increased during the early months of 1993, Prodrive had a big problem on their hands.
Subaru had determined that the all-new Impreza would not make its debut until the Legacy had tasted success in the WRC, but the longer things went on, the less likely that looked.
Fortunately, McRae stepped up to the plate in, of all places, New Zealand. After a masterful and measured drive when he wasn’t always the fastest, he outlasted Ford driver, Francois Delecour, to take not only his, but Subaru’s first WRC success.
He had outlasted Delecour by just 27 seconds, with Toyota’s Didier Auriol another two seconds back in what had been a tantalising four-day battle.
Back then, the WRC was a less regimented affair, and I still vividly recall watching McRae doing his victory donuts in the carpark of the Travelodge Hotel in Auckland.
With McRae waving the Scottish flag out the window, the Legacy disappeared in a cloud of blue tyre smoke, triumphantly sending the Legacy out on a winning note, and allowing the incoming Impreza to make its much-anticipated entry.