Matthew Wilson is chasing a performance worthy of Britain's greatest rally driver at his home World Championship event next weekend. The 20-year-old Cumbrian aims to confirm his promise at Rally GB and ultimately to emulate the late Colin McRae by winning the world title.
McRae, who was killed in a helicopter crash two months ago, inspired Wilson and a generation of rallying hopefuls with his flamboyant style. Wilson had the bonus of watching McRae at close quarters when the Scotsman drove for a Ford team managed by his father, Malcolm.
Wilson Jnr said: "It wasn't just that Colin was Britain's first world champion, it was the way he went about things. He was totally different from any other driver. He was exciting, he was a character. His death was especially hard for me to take because I got to know him so well when he was at Ford.
"I was only 11 when he joined the team and you can imagine the impression he made on me. He used to stay at our house and take me riding on quad bikes. If I get a good result on Rally GB I want to dedicate it to Colin. It would be the perfect way for me to end the season."
Wilson, who drives for Stobart Ford, goes into the rally on Friday buoyed by fourth and seventh places in the last two races. He believes he can follow in the tracks of McRae and Britain's other title winner, Richard Burns, who died of a brain tumour two years ago. He said: "There is pressure on me because British rally fans are looking for the next McRae or Burns and it's up to me to deliver."