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CC Alister McRae unveils new rally car during Transiberico Rally in Portugal

FIA CROSS-COUNTRY MOTORSPORT
New McRae Enduro rally car launch

For immediate release
Wednesday, May 30th 2007 (embargoed until 15.00 hrs)

MCRAE ENDURO - ALL-NEW CROSS-COUNTRY RALLY CAR

New V6 diesel-engined machine targets FIA Cross-Country and Baja market
Alister and Jimmy McRae set for key testing and development role
Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo planned for 2008 season

ESTORIL (Portugal): Alister McRae officially announced the new McRae Enduro cross-country rally car in Portugal on Wednesday, May 30th at the start of the Transiberico Rally. Initial details of an exciting 2008 Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo were also unveiled.

The car has been developed over recent months under the management of Barry Reynolds and Christopher Bibb, with support from Colin Pharaoh and engineer Peter Bennett. Test and development feedback comes from a British Rally Champion, Alister McRae, who is a regular competitor in FIA World Rally and has also taken the overall title in the prestigious and fiercely-competitive Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. His father,
five-times British Rally Champion Jimmy McRae, will also be involved in the test and development programme.

~Cross-Country rallying is motorsport at its most extreme,~ said Alister McRae. ~It has all the right ingredients to blossom and I'm really excited about this new project. I've given my full support to the programme and we're all confident that this all-new car will be competitive in international cross-country motorsport. More importantly, it will provide newcomers, as well as more experienced drivers, with an excellent platform for success.~

The brainchild of Christopher Bibb, Barry Reynolds and Alister and Jimmy McRae, the McRae Enduro is a clean-sheet design, engineered to comply with the FIA's T1 technical regulations governing eligibility for FIA Cross-Country rallies, Baja-type events and the gruelling Dakar Rally.

~Our aim has been to deliver T1 performance levels, while utilising production-proven mechanics wherever possible,~ said Barry Reynolds. ~On one hand, current T1 cars are extremely expensive and prohibitive to all but a few major manufacturers,~ added Christopher Bibb. ~On the other, production-based T2 cars are not as dynamic as many drivers would like. Our solution has been to combine the best of both categories. We have created a purpose-designed prototype spaceframe chassis for performance, while using stock components where appropriate to reduce costs. This is not a car chasing outright victory, rather one that will deliver regular top-10 placings. The McRae Enduro is designed to sit between current T1 and T2 categories.~

The McRae Enduro has been engineered and manufactured at MDV Specialist Engineering in Essex and is powered by a 2.7-litre V6 turbo-diesel - used in road-going guise by Land Rover, Jaguar, Peugeot and CitroŽn. The engine has been developed by Roush Technology and with a motorsport ECU delivers a reliable 240 horse power and a punchy 520Nm of torque. Importantly, however, the engine internals remain standard and the engine operates within production tolerance cylinder pressures. This is key to reliability and longevity. Roush technicians don't expect rebuilds even after a full season of serious competition work.

The clean-sheet space-frame chassis is in 25crmo4 steel tube, while the six-speed manual transmission has been developed by ZF. The drivetrain also features production-sourced non-variable limited slip rear and centre differentials. Further technical support has come from Alcon, Sparco, Speedline and other leading component suppliers, with major backing from Italian tyre manufacturer, Pirelli.

Chief engineer Peter Bennett has paid specific attention to suspension design and the car features twin dampers incorporating the latest technology from 4Grip. Bespoke interchangeable uprights and wishbones front and rear help reduce component cost and spares weight.

The engineering team have also paid attention to crew safety and comfort inside the cockpit and occupants will benefit from the latest Hans seat compatibility. ~We care about our drivers. The cockpit area has been designed around 95 percentile occupants,~ commented Barry Reynolds. ~There is significantly more space in key areas. The helmets of tall occupants are well away from roll bars and the driver sits in line with the pedals. Seats, the steering column and the pedal box are adjustable, while air conditioning has been included to increase crew comfort. When particularly high-ambient temperatures are encountered the air conditioning can be directed direct to occupants' suits.~

Event-ready McRae Enduros will be available for 150,000 plus taxes. An attractive 'arrive and drive plan' for the Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo is in the making. This is intended specifically to make the sport accessible for new entrants, both in financial and organisational terms.


2008 Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo

The Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo, a new one-make rally championship, will commence in 2008 using the McRae Enduro rally car. This one-make series has received the full backing of Pirelli and been devised around the FIA's desire for an expansion of Cross-Country and Baja-type events.

~There is a desire to increase the global scope of Cross-Country and Baja-type rallying,~ said Barry Reynolds. ~With 83% of the world's roads classed as 'dirt roads', we view this as being the most relevant motorsporting activity for emerging economies in non-traditional motorsport countries like the Middle East, Russia, China and India.

~The FIA have stated that they are keen to promote Cross-Country and encourage new drivers to join the sport. We believe that an attractive one-make series is the ideal solution and the McRae Enduro is a great product for both newcomers and 'gentleman' drivers to begin a career in this exciting and adventurous form of motorsport.~

The calendar for the inaugural Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo is not yet determined, but officials have stated that the championship will be made up of six select events, three from the 2008 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and three from the FIA Baja series.

~We feel that the Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo opens a new door and will attract a large number of new competitors to the sport,~ added Reynolds. ~We will be able to offer tailor-made packages to suit individual driver's requirements. There will be an option of an 'arrive and drive' package or facilities for teams to carry out their own servicing under a controlled one-make series environment.~

The 2008 Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo will use one Pirelli control tyre - the Pirelli Scorpion Zero 235/85R x 16 - for the duration of the season.

Paul Hembery, Director of Motorsport at Pirelli, is upbeat about the potential of the new championship: ~This is an ideal all-round control tyre and should set a level playing field for everyone in what I feel has great potential to become a superb one-make rally series.~


Safety-Cell Technology Limited

Safety-Cell Technology Limited was established in 2005 by Barry Reynolds (ex Ford Motorsport) and Christopher Bibb (ex McLaren and Lola). Alister McRae and Colin Pharaoh joined them in 2006. The company's objective was to develop a new clubman-type space frame car for off-road and cross-country events.

The car needed to be strong and reliable, yet lightweight, fun to drive and competitively priced. MDV Specialist Engineering at Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex was commissioned to carry out engineering development and work on the first prototype began at the end of April 2006. A UK test programme begins in June and this will be followed by durability tests in North Africa. Delivery of the first vehicles is planned for autumn 2007.

For further information about the McRae Enduro rally car or the 2008 Pirelli McRae Enduro Trofeo, go to: www.mcrae-enduro.com or contact Barry Reynolds, E-mail: barry@wiz-email.com

Note to editors:
Various images of the new McRae Enduro Rally Car can be downloaded in high-resolution format from www.mcrae-enduro.com

Ends

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Date issued: 30/05/2007

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