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Q&A with Rally Driver John MacCrone

Since officially becoming Watermans Road Safety Ambassador, John MacCrone has had eventful time which included driving in Germany in a Watermans branded car for the first time. We caught up with him to see how he’s been getting on…

You recently rallied around Germany in a Watermans branded car for the first time, how did it go?

“It went very well. It was my first WRC event since 2012 so it was great to be back. We were in an old specification Ford Fiesta R2 so we had to be quite realistic about how we would get on. In the end it went very well, I got some important miles under my belt and really got back in to the swing of these big events.”

The Mull Rally is coming up, what are your memories from this event?

“This is where rallying started for me so I have some very special memories growing up on Mull at rally time. I remember sitting on the stone wall out side my house when I was about five-years old, with my brother under a duvet in the middle of the night watching cars going past. The sight and sound blew me away and since then it has been my dream to be a rally driver!”

“I’ve put together a last minute deal to drive a Subaru Impreza N11 run by TEG Sport. I’ve never driven a Subaru before so it will be another learning experience, but at least I have a reasonable idea of where I am going. There are some seriously fast local experts that will all be out to win, so it’s going to be an exciting battle and its great to compete in front of friends and family.”

How do you usually prepare for a rally?

“Preparation for an event normally starts with finding out as much information about the route as possible then studying onboard footage from previous years. Practicing making pace notes beforehand means that when I go to start the recce I have blown away any cobwebs and my notes will be 100% from the word go.”

Are there certain superstitions you like to do before a race?

“I don’t believe in superstitions, so none whatsoever!”

Do you get really nervous before a race?

“I think it’s perfectly normal to get nervous, so yes I do! I used to be worse but with experience I now find myself much calmer coming into events. I know I can drive, so it’s just about linking the components to string together a good result. Easier said than done but keeping calm helps!”

When you’re not rallyng, how do you like to unwind?

“I work for myself as a joiner so when I’m not racing I’m normally building houses or fitting kitchens! This keeps me active, fit and also pays for me getting to and from events. I enjoy watching football and listening to music to relax.”

Do you have any rally driver legends that you look up to, or ones that have inspired you?

“Growing up Colin McRae was my hero. It’s hard not to love his attitude and driving style. As I’ve got older I appreciate the way in which Richard Burns won his world title with a different way of doing things. But I think the ultimate driver has to be Sebastien Loeb. His titles speak for themselves but he is also a really cool guy.”

What would your advice be to a young aspiring rally driver?

“I think I would say never give up. Rallying is all about experience so keep going and eventually you will get to where you want to be. I’m not there yet, but that’s my plan!”