Find out more about our subscriptions

Alister McRae says Rally of Scotland's opening night stages will be key tests

Alister McRaeScottish rally star Alister McRae says the two dark stages which open Rally of Scotland this evening could be pivotal to the outcome of the event.

Crews face two shots at the five-mile Carron Valley test, starting at just after 19:00 local time tonight.

"That new stage will definitely be a big challenge," said Proton driver McRae shortly after completing his two recce runs through the test. "It looks like a difficult enough stage in the daylight, but in the dark it will be really tough.

"It's just possible there's going to be a wee bit of rain or mist around, which will spice things up nicely."

McRae added that competing in the dark was always more of a challenge.

"You rely more on an accurate set of pace notes," he said, "and with this being a new stage, we've all had to make new notes.

"Of course, the other thing you really rely heavily on is the lights and having them set up perfectly. When you get it right, it can be like daylight when you get in there with the spotlights on, but get it wrong or knock them out of line and it can be really frustrating and distracting. They might not be very long, but they're going to be very tough, those two tonight."

The Rally of Scotland starts from Stirling Castle at 19:00 and arrives at the start of SS1 29 minutes later.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Mikkelsen claims breakthrough win
Mikkelsen on brink of maiden win
Wilks discovers suspension issue
Mikkelsen confident of keeping lead
Mikkelsen leads as Hanninen closes
IRC drivers back stage cancellation
Hanninen: Mikkelsen is out of reach
Mikkelsen to play it safe on final day
Mikkelsen pulls clear in Scotland
Struggling Hanninen gets radical
Bogie happy to be first on the road
Proton thrilled with Andersson's speed
Mikkelsen not planning to back off
Wilks now focused on stage wins
Mikkelsen ahead as Wilks goes off
Wilks takes early lead in Scotland
Andersson glad to be back on gravel
Scotland route fine despite heavy rain
Proton expects Scotland upturn
Bouffier heads Scotland shakedown
Wilks: No extra pressure in Scotland