Leeds - RAC International Historic Rally 1996

Britain's final round of the FIA European Historic Trophy

For Immediate Release
18th November 1996

McRae Defends Leeds-RAC Historic

Record five times British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae defends the Leeds - RAC International Historic Rally in a 1965 Porsche 911 belonging to co-driver Beatty Crawford.

The 53 year-old Scot claimed the first part of a historic double 12 months ago when son Colin also won the Network Q RAC Rally in a Subaru to become Britain's first World Champion.

The two events again run in tandem, the two-day Leeds City Council sponsored Historic using many of the same stages as the Network Q on both Saturday and Sunday.

The rally forms the final round of the FIA European Historic Trophy with McRae's main threats likely to come from overseas stars Monty Karlan (Norway), Magnus Wigren (Sweden) and Jan Trajbold (Czech Republic), who all drive similar Porsche 911s.

Indeed the famous German marque dominated the event last year filling eight of the first ten places and the leaderboard is again likely to become their domain.

Dark horse could be Paul Kynaston's massive 4.2 litre V-8 engined Sunbeam Tiger - the Exeter man has already clinched the Safety Devices Historic Stage Rally Championship this year with victories in the Robin Hood, Tyneside, and Boost MIRA Stages.

The European Championship is a class-based series and any of four drivers, all competing on the British event, could still take the title. Reigning champion Trajbold currently trails fellow countryman Pavel Nejedly, who drives a tiny 1964 Mini Cooper S, by three and a half points, with another Czech Jindrich Indra, in a 1964 Anzp Skoda S 1000 MB, a further point adrift. Swede Hans Sellberg, driving a Volvo PV544 could also still figure should the others falter.

The 43 entries, drawn from eight different countries as far afield as Japan, leave Leeds on Saturday morning on a 550 mile route including 80 timed to the second stage miles.

After the first seven stages in the north of England and the Scottish Borders, the cars return to Leeds for an overnight halt before undertaking a further six spectator stages around some of the East Midlands' stately homes and race tracks.

FIA European Trophy Leaders (after seven rounds)

1. Pavel Nejedly  (Czech Republic) 28.5 points
2. Jan Trajbold   (Czech Republic) 25
3. Jindrich Indra (Czech Republic) 24
4. Arwed Hafner   (Germany)        22.5
5. Peter Hinderer (Germany)        21
6. Hans Sellberg  (Sweden)         21

Previous Winners

1991 Rally Britannia    Ake Andersson/Carina Andersson   Porsche 911
1992 RAC Historic Rally Jerry Larsen/Torbjorn Henrysson  Porsche 911
     Rally Britannia    Monty Karlan/Ake Gustafsson      Porsche 911
1993 RAC Historic Rally Ake Andersson/Lars Thorell       Porsche 911
     Rally Britannia    Monty Karlan/Ake Gustafsson      Porsche 911
1994 RAC Historic Rally Ake Andersson/Lars Thorell       Porsche 911
1995 RAC Historic Rally Jimmy McRae/Beatty Crawford      Porsche 911

Further details: contact Keith McGhie (Press Officer) 0113 244 2000 Extn 2035 (Nov 22-24) 01274 671112 (after Nov 24)

Last Modified: 22 November 1996

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Page Author: David James, david@tcs01.demon.co.uk