Thursday | 23 Sep 2021

Burns honoured at Rallyday celebration

Richard Burns will be remembered at Saturday’s Rallyday in Britain with an unprecedented gathering of the cars and people who helped him to FIA World Rally Championship glory two decades ago.

The Castle Combe-based event will bring together Burns’ family and friends to remember his 2001 title-winning season with Subaru. Burns died in 2005 after a brave two-year battle against a brain tumour.

Burns’ friend and early career rival Mark Higgins will be on hand to drive one of two Peugeot 206 World Rally Cars attending.

“Rallyday on Saturday is going to be a special one,” said former Ford works driver Higgins. “Twenty years on from Richard winning the World Rally Championship is a moment worth celebrating and commemorating and to be part of that makes Saturday really important.

Video: Secto Automotive Rally Finland

“I was at Rallyday with Richard in 2005, when he attended the event for the last time. I actually drove his own Peugeot 206 WRC. That was an unforgettable day and I’m sure we’ll make many more memories on Saturday.

“Looking back, it’s incredible to have been part of a golden era of the sport, with not only Richard, but Colin and Alister [McRae] and so many other great drivers. They were fantastic times and it’ll be great to share some memories of those times.

“Richard was genuinelya lovely person and I’m sure the day’s going to be emotional – especially when we get going with the parade of his cars. He’s my son Ben’s godfather, it’ll be really nice for Ben to come with me to Rallyday to see the warm reception for Richard.”

In addition to the Burns commemoration, Rallyday organisers are also running parades of cars driven by Colin McRae and Russell Brookes.

Colin McRae, pictured here in Argentina in 1999, will also be remembered at Rallyday

Many of the cars on the specially designed LEGENDS stage are coming from Ian Gwynne’s BGMsport stable.

“We’re taking 11 cars down,” said Gwynne. “They range from an ex-Hannu Mikkola Audi quattro S1 to an 800bhp Fiesta Marcus Grönholm drove at Pikes Peak. We’ve also got plenty of Richard’s and Colin’s cars coming. It’s going to be a great day with some very special cars.”

The current era of the WRC will be represented by Hyundai Motorsport star Craig Breen, who will talk about his season so far and look ahead to next week’s Secto Automotive Rally Finland (1 - 3 October).

• Headline photograph courtesy of Prodrive

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