McRae to race ASCAR at Rockingham

World Rally star Colin McRae will make his oval racing debut next weekend when he takes part in the ASCAR stock car event supporting the CART Championship Series at Rockingham

McRae to race ASCAR at Rockingham

The Scot had his first taste of the 1.5-mile oval last Saturday when he got behind the wheel of a 500bhp Ford ASCAR racer.

McRae had an hour-long rookie test in the ASCAR two-seater before trying out the car he will be racing next week. Reigning British Touring Car Champion and ASCAR regular Jason Plato had gone out earlier in the same car to set a benchmark time and the Scottish ace rose to the challenge by smashing it by 0.4 seconds. McRae's final time of 36.4 seconds is the fastest ever time recorded by a rookie at Rockingham!

"This has been a new experience for me and I didn't really know what expect, I had watched it on television and that's about it," said McRae. "The guys at ASCAR and Bintcliffe Motorsport have been brilliant and I have got to grips with the car quite quickly.

"The facilities here at Rockingham are excellent, it will be fantastic sight when the stands are full of fans next weekend, I can't wait to get out there for the race."

McRae said that racing an ASCAR will be a totally different experience to rallying in a Focus WRC.

"The cars are completely different and the style of driving required is amazing," he said. "The trick is to feel the limit of the car. That is what it is all about, no matter what you are driving, you can't really go past the limit in these cars, you have to come gradually to the limit. I found the concrete wall a bit more comfortable than the trees on a rally stage."

When asked how he found it driving without co-driver Nicky Grist, Colin replied: "It's quite peaceful actually!"

McRae's ASCAR outing will be part of a particularly busy weekend for the Scot. On the Friday before the race, McRae will be in Sanremo in a pre-event test for the Italian round of the WRC, which takes place the following week.

He will then fly to Rockingham on Friday night in time to take part on Saturday's race, before heading up to Scotland for brother Alister's 30th birthday party. Recceing for Sanremo begins on Monday 16 September.

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