DiRT's McRae dead at 39

Cover driver of Codemasters' off-road racer perishes with son and two others in tragic helicopter crash.


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.

Colin McRae, 1968-2007
Colin McRae, 1968-2007

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."

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 480 comments about this story
480 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for foojam

RIP Colin.

Avatar image for dariusjat

very bad new im very sad colin mcrae you is a legend of rally R.I.P

Avatar image for zulwalks

R.I.P Colin Mcrae the worlds greatest rally driver

Avatar image for digimon56

may he rest in pice i fell so sad he maed good games and was a good rally driver that all i have to say R.I.P McRae

Avatar image for Dbwee

R. I. P. colin you have some great games.

Avatar image for crazyslap

When i got my first playstation the original colin mcrae rally was my first game, that game kept me busy for 2 months solid, he was a great rally driver, and a great person. I own all of his games and treasure them most, you will be missed colin. Rest in Peace...

Avatar image for Variasam

The next game they make should be called 'Colin McRae Helicopter Simulator', only without the crashing... RIP and all that

Avatar image for grahamo1

see you around colin, codemasters make more rally games, for the traditionalists i want a full wrc season

Avatar image for xXHD_HeroXx

A great man has been lost in the world of rally, and it feels like one of my close family has died, even though I never knew the man, or met him, like many other people. The groundbreaking series of Colin McRae Rally has ground to a permanent halt,(unless they make a commemoration version). thoughts go out to his family, R.I.P Colin McRae, you will be missed dearly.

Avatar image for Vixene

I feal sad about it! :( Rest.In.Piece. Lad!

Avatar image for szewei85

RIP mcrae i m still feel gutted by his death until today.when i reinstall the dirt game,i cry my hearts out loud in the entire installation process.that was the 1st time in my entire life ever that i cry out loud 4 sumone unknown 2 me.i still can feel the pain inside me even if he wasnt part of my family.

Avatar image for ZJM9

I think they should make a game completely in Collin's memory where everything you do is in his memory. and a game where you live the events of his career, to show how great he was. R.I.P. Collin, ur still my hero.

Avatar image for matto1997

i hope they make more rally games but he died so whats the point.R.I.P COLIN MCREA.

Avatar image for Peter_Eater

R.I.P. Colin. I hope Codemasters will continue to make CMR games in tribute to this great rally driver...

Avatar image for jacob-goodlich

RIP, i wish that he died doing what he loved

Avatar image for DanielKylix

bom homem..uma grande perda para o mundo automobilistico...realmente o melhor piloto de rally de todos os tempos... RIP Colin

Avatar image for kogdeadeye

Man... I have to ask why he was driving a helicopter in the first place. This sucks for the world of rally racing. RIP homie!

Avatar image for xlassiter

all thoes years he drive's and he past away in a helicopter crash hope they bring out a new edition even thought i have dirt but i would get this on also R.I.P great driver

Avatar image for Edward1211

I'm kind of shocked. He just had a game made and he dies? wierd RIP Colin

Avatar image for playstation_wii

RIP Good man :(

Avatar image for roozbeh007

very nice guy. I've been Colin McRae fan since the second series. very sad. RIP

Avatar image for 1LowSDime

R.I.P. Colin McRae. I've enjoyed playing the CMR games, and enjoy DiRT as well. You will be missed.

Avatar image for MjolnirMaster51

I never played any of the games, but this still really sucks. RIP

Avatar image for coruscant

RIP Colin MacRae. Great person and rally driver.

Avatar image for snowman1771

Very Sad.

Avatar image for duncanr2n

@HolteEnder4Life - I've been considering getting this game, I would totally buy it if they put out a commemorative edition as a tribute to Colin. That would be fantastic.

Avatar image for HolteEnder4Life

I hope they do some sort of commemorative edition of DiRT or a new game in memory of him.

Avatar image for darkerfire

R.I.P Colin and johnny you shall be missed

Avatar image for AtomicEdge

Damn... Thoughts go out to his family in what must be a terribly hard time...

Avatar image for Paulitis

Richard Burns now Colin :( Who will be next one RIP

Avatar image for DiscGuru101

It's sad, but I guess when you fly your own helicopter it comes with the territory. @Iun: I agree, ironic. -I wonder what happened up there?

Avatar image for HYP3RD4SH_666

Man I hope in future copys of Dirt they put in some sort of remeberance to him and his son.

Avatar image for 12inchnails


Avatar image for iuns

Bad stuff, i really feel for his son... very ironic that colin spent his whole life driving to die from a helicopter....

Avatar image for sj420

o m f g ... thank you for all the wrc memories colin. you will be missed.

Avatar image for Jared_Vegeta

Man, can't believe that. I hadn't heard a thing about it in the news.

Avatar image for V4LENT1NE

RIP Colin

Avatar image for Dreski83

I know we all have to go eventually... but something like that just sucks :(

Avatar image for k_nen808

god bless him and his family.

Avatar image for Blisster

Such a sad and tragic loss!

Avatar image for UnrealPro

What a horrible way to die...my heart goes out to you man...

Avatar image for blancobo

Sad news for the gaming and sporting industries. At such a young age such a great sportsman has been iconized while at the same time immortalized. Rest In Peace.

Avatar image for Mkherkzen

[*] R.I.P. Mr McRae :(

Avatar image for Neloy

God Bless Colin McRae! Rest in peace. My prayers are to you, your son, your friends and your family.

Avatar image for DoctorG

Wow!!! Been playing the Colin McRae Rally games since PlayStation 1 days, and they were always fun. In the actual sport, McRae was indeed ONE with his vehicle when he drove that Ford Focus, and it was easy to see why he was recognized as one of the most professional and skillful rally drivers in the world. God Bless you and your contributions to the rally racing world, the video gaming world, and the many fans (myself included) you've acquired through the years Colin. My condolences go out to the bereaved families of all the victims, and I pray those families will find some comfort in this tragic time. Colin...you will be missed - RIP DoctorG

Avatar image for wakko19991

shocking news sad to hear especially the death of the young son

Avatar image for adam2987

God bless Colin and his son and friends. I remember the Subaru days when he was unstoppable and an awesome driver.. BBC showed some of his best driving and its one to turn the stomach because he goes so fast and just like the Dirt intro video, he drove on roads along cliff edges like it were his driveway...but at an awesome pace! I can't believe it. RIP mate.

Avatar image for Gamebox88

Truly one of the pioneers of the sport, he will always be remembered for making it interesting for U.S.A., and while he will be remembered more for his games than his racing, you can't argue that he was a great person on and off the track. RIP 1968-2007

Avatar image for matty_sen

there goes one of the best racers...ever..........rip............................................

Avatar image for SWAT_ex2003