Scot to fly at Imbil
FLYING Scot Alister McRae would like to be aging like a good single-malt whisky.
But at age 41, the reigning Asia Pacific Rally champion is realistic enough to know he is in the twilight of his career.
McRae, who drives for the Malaysia-backed Proton Motorsports factory team, has arrived on the Sunshine Coast for this weekend's International Rally of Queensland intent on bettering his best result at the event and breathing life into his championship defence.
He was leading the rally after day one last year before an electrical issue led to his car overheating on day two and he finished fourth.
He said the team was focused on doing things right this weekend and getting plenty of points at an event that marks the championship's halfway stage.
McRae drives a Satria-Neo S2000 and he has no doubt the car is good enough to win the championship.
"I think the car has definitely come on, even from last year," he said.
"Small improvements are made all the time now. We just need to have the luck go our way."
Along with defending the drivers' championship, McRae and his teammate Per-Gunnar Andersson are attempting to secure Proton consecutive manufacturer titles.
Swede Andersson, the two-time junior world rally champion, joined the team his year, replacing current series leader Chris Atkinson of the Gold Coast.
Andersson is fourth on the driver standings, 32 points behind Atkinson, with McRae a further nine points back.
McRae, the son of five-time British rally champion Jimmy McRae and the younger brother of the late 1995 World Rally champion Colin McRae, likes the racing conditions on the Coast.
"It's fast flowing. You get some tight and twisty technical stuff as well," he said.
McRae said he had lost none of his passion, with the challenge of beating the opposition the driving force.
"As long as I enjoy doing that, there's no reason to stop," he said.