The Scot made his debut for Ford in the Monte Carlo Rally but only under appeal, as the row over the legality of his new Focus car and its offending water pump was still unresolved.
The appeal will be heard in the next few weeks, but if it fails then McRae would have to miss the next two rallies - in Sweden and Kenya next month - while the pump is replaced.
The Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser, driving his own design Schlesser- Renault buggy, won his first Dakar Rally to claim a debut victory for a two-wheel drive car. Richard Sainct won the motorcycle class on a BMW to give the German manufacturer its first win since 1985.
Results, Digest, page 20Reuse content