YOUNGEST MCRAE MAKES RALLY DE­BUT

GROUP RAL­LY­ING EDITOR

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - Bor­der Coun­ties re­port, p24

The third gen­er­a­tion of the Mcrae ral­ly­ing dy­nasty has be­gun af­ter 11-year-old Max be­gan test­ing a Mit­subishi Lancer E8 last month.

Max, son of for­mer World Rally Cham­pi­onship star Alis­ter, was given tu­ition by his five-time Bri­tish Rally Cham­pion grand­fa­ther Jimmy. Mcrae Sr was im­pressed with the pace and nat­u­ral flair be­hind the wheel.

Af­ter a day of test­ing in Western Aus­tralia, close to Alis­ter’s home, Jimmy told MN: “I’ve got to say, I was a wee bit gob­s­macked by the whole thing. When I got in the car, I looked down and, even with the seat moved right for­ward and with a cush­ion un­der him, he could hardly reach the ped­als!

“Once we were away, I asked him how he’d learned to change gear. He told me he’d done it all on a sim­u­la­tor. Seems times have changed a bit...”

Mcrae Jr is a reign­ing state kart­ing cham­pion and will re­main rac­ing in the Cadet 12 cat­e­gory this sea­son. Un­like the UK, there’s no pro­vi­sion for him to com­pete in ral­lies un­der the age of 17 – but there is a chance he could com­pete in some Ju­nior events when he vis­its Bri­tain.

Jimmy added: “Bar­rie [Lochhead, fam­ily friend who worked on Colin and Alis­ter’s early cars] has al­ready told Alis­ter he’ll have a car wait­ing for Max when he comes home.”

Max ad­mit­ted that mo­ment couldn’t come soon enough, say­ing: “I’ve done a fair bit of kart­ing now, but it was great to get to drive the rally car. Slid­ing the car on gravel was great fun. I can’t wait un­til I’m old enough to get into ral­ly­ing.”

Alis­ter added: “It’s all about Max en­joy­ing what he’s do­ing. There was a chance for him to get in the car and drive and he made the most of it.”

Ac­cord­ing to Jimmy, Max has driven a rally car ear­lier than both his father and un­cle Colin.

“I don’t think ei­ther of them drove a rally car un­til they were 17,” said Jimmy. “They took my works van around the field be­fore they were 17, mind…”

Gina (l) with Louise (r) Jimmy sat in with Max Mcrae

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