McRae mourned across motorsport
|By Biranit Goren||Sunday, September 16th 2007, 18:03 GMT|
Motorsport's governing body the FIA has led messages of condolences from leading figures across all motorsports for the family and friends of Colin McRae, who was killed yesterday in a helicopter crash at his estate.
The 1995 World Rally Champion crashed his helicopter in Jerviswood, Scotland, with police saying all four passengers killed in the accident - naming McRae, his five-year-old son, a six-year-old and an adult family friend.
"The FIA extends sincere condolences to the families of all those involved in this awful accident," the governing body said in a statement.
"Colin McRae made an enormous contribution to motorsport and his spectacular driving style endeared him to fans throughout the world.
"The thoughts of all those in the motor sport community are with the families and friends of those touched by this tragedy."
Ferrari chief and former rally co-driver Jean Todt held a moment of silence at the beginning of his
traditional post-Grand Prix media briefing, saying he was a fan of McRae's driving.
"I did not work with Colin McRae, but I still follow rallying because I like this sport," Todt said.
"Colin was a great champion," said Todt, who explained that he was not involved in rallying at the same time as McRae, but was still following his career as a spectator.
"Last night I saw on CNN some footage of his skills, and he was one of the best rally drivers in history of the sport."
McRae's WRC teammate in 1994 and 1995, former World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz, was grief-stricken with the news.
"It's a terrible news," he told Spanish EFE news agency. "I have lost a friend with whom I fought in the same team in the best sense of the word. I really appreciated him.
"The tragic circumstances of the accident make his passing even harder. He was a great driver and an excellent person."
Richard Taylor, team chief of the Subaru WRC team, where McRae won his world championship, said in a statement: "All of us at the Subaru World Rally Team are shocked and upset by the tragic news of Colin McRae's death.
"Colin was Subaru's first World Champion and a man who almost single-handedly brought the sport of rallying to the attention of millions around the world. He was an inspiration to motorsport fans and remained a close friend to many of us in the team.
"At this terribly sad time our thoughts are with [McRae's wife] Alison and the rest of Colin's family."
David Coulthard, who in the past teamed up with McRae for the Race of Champions' Nations Cup, mourned his fellow Scotsman.
"I'm shocked and saddened to hear of the loss to the McRae family, of father and son, and obviously we must acknowledge the other family that were on board the helicopter as well," Coulthard stated.
"Colin was a remarkable man who wore his heart on this sleeve and was the epitome of a racer; fearless and attacking, yet he remained true to his roots and grounded despite the international fame and recognition that he achieved.
"The world is a sorrier place without him."