YOUNGEST MCRAE MAKES RALLY DEBUT
GROUP RALLYING EDITOR
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…”