Fans get revved up for car rally

MOTORSPORT legend Jimmy McCrae and former Monte Carlo rally driver Tommy Bruce gave the green light for the historic event to return to the city.

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They joined organisers Glasgow Green yesterday after it was announced the famous rally will be back in the city next month.

More than 50 years ago, hundreds of people waved off the intrepid drivers as they started the Monte Carlo rally – created in 1911 – in Glasgow.

Next month, it's hoped 15,000 will turn out for the spectacle. Glasgowhad strong links with the event in the 1950s and 60s and was chosen as one of four start cities for 2013, alongside Barcelona, Copenhagen and Reims.

Tommy Bryce, 83, who started the 1954 rally that left from Glasgow, said: "I'm glad to see its back in Glasgow. Hundreds of people came to see us off."

The cars will leave from the People's Palace on January 26, after a centenary launch from the Blythswood Square Hotel last year said to have brought £1million into the local economy.

The event is returning to Glasgow next year after leaving from Clydebank this year.

Scott Taylor, of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, said: "We are very pleased the Monte Carlo Rally has come back to Glasgow. There is a genuine love of this event embedded in Glasgow."

Fifty of the competing cars will be on display in Buchanan Street, allowing fans to get a good look at the classic vehicles and chat to the drivers.

There will also be music and performances at the People's Palace before the cars cross the ramp to start the race at 2pm.

Five times British Rally Champion Jimmy McCrae recalled his memories of the race at a launch event.

He said: "I've always had an interest in the Monte Carlo. We used to go to see the cars driving past when I was just a boy."

City Council leader Gordon Matheson said he was delighted the race was returning to its "spiritual home".

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