Colin McRae, titular cover athlete of Codemasters' long-running World Rally Championship series Colin McRae Rally, was involved in a fatal helicopter crash on Sunday. The 39-year-old rally car driver was killed, along with his 6-year-old son and two family friends, when the aircraft he was piloting crashed in a wooded area near his home in Lanark, Scotland. An investigation as to the cause of the wreck is ongoing.
McRae entered the World Rally Championship circuit in 1987, and gained notoriety after winning his first of 25 championships in 1993. McRae won the World Rally Championship world title in 1995, and finished runner-up in 1996, 1997, and 2001. He officially retired from rally racing in 2004, though he subsequently competed in several other races including the X Games and 24 hours of Le Mans. In 1996, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire, a major honor in the UK.
Having attained superstar status in the rally racing circuit, McRae was tapped by Codemasters for the first Colin McRae Rally, which debuted in the UK in 1998 for the PC and original PlayStation, and made its way to North America in 2000. Since then, Codemasters' Colin McRae Rally has seen five sequels, most recently this year's DiRT on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
Responding to the tragedy, Codemasters said, "For over ten years, Colin was part of the Codemasters family and it was a privilege to have a man recognised as a true legend on the team. He always took a keen interest in the game experience, wanting to make sure it was without equal in its portrayal of the sport."