Press Release 3 - Legend McRae backs new borders rally

Alister McRae has backed the new Tweed Valley Stages rally with Clelands, claiming the event will guarantee the survival of some of Scotland's best motorsport stages.

Next month, on July 23rd, the inaugural event will see competitors battling it out over 40 spectacular forest stage miles in the Scottish borders.

In the past, some of the routes were legendary, with many of Britain's rallying greats developing their skills there before going onto international fame.

Sadly, passages such as Elibank and Yair have not been used for over a decade and there were fears they may be lost to a new generation of drivers.

However, ex-British champion McRae is delighted to see some old favourites from his own career revived.

He contested events there as a youngster and watched some of the best competing, including father and 5-times British champion, Jimmy McRae.

He now hopes the event can go from strength to strength and put the area back on the British rallying map.

Asked about the quality of the stages, he said: "Elibank and Yair are some of the best stages in Scotland. I can remember spectating there as a kid on Scottish rallies that my father competed in.

"I then had the chance to drive them in the early part of my career in a Vauxhall Nova and really enjoyed the smooth, fast-flowing nature of them."

Rally co-organisers, Glenrothes Motor Sport Club Ltd and North Humberside Motor Club Ltd have ensured the stages are back to their best for the Selkirk-based event.

Scottish racing legend John Cleland has backed the rally through his company, Clelands Volvo and Jaguar.

And Proton driver McRae, who is set to return to Scotland for the Rally of Scotland on 7th-9th October, believes it is good for British rallying that the routes are to be used again.

"It is definitely great to get these Borders stages back on the map. I am sure the entrants will enjoy competing there."

The new event has been classified as a round of the Fuchs Titan Race ANCC Stage Rally Championship and the Scottish Borders Rally Championship.

It is also a round of the Competition Car Insurance EMAMC Multi-Venue Championship.

Issued: 30 June 2011