By Humphrey Carter
FORMER world rally champion Colin McRae is still recovering from his 100 mph crash in this year's Dakar rally, but it has not stopped him from popping down to Majorca nor helicopter flying.

McRae says that, apart from his right eye, he is more or less fully recovered from his head injuries and is even considering making a special comeback this year in the British rally in September.

He expects to get the all clear from specialists this week.
Colin McRae is in the process of renovating an old monastery near Pollensa which he bought some four years ago and he hopes will be finished within the next 12 months.

While he admits that since he quit the World Rally Championship nearly two years ago he seems to be busier than ever “now we have to take care of things ourselves. When I was competing, you'd finish a race and the team would take care of everything else.” So he has not managed to get down to Majorca as much as he would like, although he will be back this summer to enjoy some sailing on board his Fairline which he keeps in the Port of Pollensa.

He says he is considering a one-off drive in the GB Rally, probably for either Ford or Subaru, as attendance figures for the rally have been dropping because of the lack of high-profile British drivers. Rally chiefs believe Colin will prove a big pull.

He would also love to compete in the Dakar rally again.
This year was his second attempt. He was driving extremely well until stage six when, at 100 mph, they hit some deep sand and suffered a horrific accident. He was airlifted back to the UK to hospital. “I guess it's tougher driving in the rallies, but Dakar is more than a race, it's a great adventure which I'd love to drive again” he said at Son Bonet airfield.

But, he explains that, just like with the World Rally Championships, some of the car manufacturers have not been doing as well as expected and financing race teams is becoming tougher. Nissan, who he drove Dakar for this year, has suddenly pulled out. “To put a Dakar team together, you need around 20 million euros,” he said.

Away from his steering wheel, he spends plenty of time at the controls of his private helicopter which he uses a great deal to nip around Britain.
In fact, Sloane Helicopters' world leading pilot Alistair Sutherland was Colin's private fixed-wing and helicopter pilot when he was rally racing around the world.

Colin is at Sloane Helicopters this week for some extra flying, pilots have to keep their hours up, and to take his son John for a spin.
Little Jonnie looks set to follow in his father's footsteps, it was he who drove us round the airfield at the wheel of his dad's Freelander.
At least he has got a good driving instructor.


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