Colin McRae.


FORMER World Champion British rally driver Colin McRae jets out of Majorca bound for Monaco today, where trials start ahead of the new rally season a week tomorrow. But yesterday his thoughts were far from steering wheels and gear changes, but how to fly a helicopter. Last night saw the end of his three-week helicopter pilots course at Son Bonet airfield under the world champion instruction of Sloane Helicopter's pilot Alistair Sutherland. This has been the Scottish rally driver's second trip to the island in his bid to get his pilots licence and he is set to return “when it's a bit warmer” to collect his licence. McRae said last night, while reading over his flight manual that after having been surrounded by helicopters all the time while racing, he decided it was about time he learnt how to fly one, “it's everybody's dream.” However, it is his driving licence which is gong to prove more important over the coming months with the start of the new rally season just over a week away. This year Spain's top driver and former world champion, Carlo Sainz, joins McRae on the Ford Focus team and McRae, who won the World Championship in 1995 with the Subaru team, admits that Ford Focus has probably the most competitive and talented team in the field this year.