Ten years ago I was lucky enough to report on the World Rally Championship for the sport’s iconic newspaper, Motorsport News.
It was a great time to be covering rallying. There were lots of manufacturers running cars that were packed with clever tech that was fascinating, but which didn't stop the cars being driven very sideways. All this was taking place in spectacular locations, attracting loads of newspaper, magazine and television coverage. The WRC was big news and, best of all, at its heart were Colin McRae and Richard Burns.
At the time I was a bit caught up in it all to realise it wouldn’t last forever. From a work point of view it was manna from heaven to have two British drivers making headlines whether they won or crashed, but from a personal point of view – as an obsessive fan of motorsport, and especially British motorsport – it was even better.
Looking back now, it was as much a golden era for British involvement in the sport as it was for the sport itself. It was joyous to watch – and with the top of the sport in such rude health it seemed only natural that the success would drip down, offering opportunities for young drivers to come up through the ranks and take the places of McRae and Burns in time (indeed, Colin officially backed a driver, Kris Meeke, and Burns was always generous in offering help to up-and-comers).