McRae ends UK tour with podium

RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC) young gun Max McRae has wrapped up his exciting tour of the UK in style, claiming a class podium in the British Rally Championship.

Having already run at Donegal International Rally in Ireland, the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed and the McRae Rally Challenge earlier this month, the 18-year-old capped off his tour in Wales with the Nicky Grist Stages.

More than 100 crews took part in the event and McRae managed to finish in 12th overall and third in the Junior Cup component alongside regular ARC co-driver Mac Kierans.

It was a highly mature performance from the West Australian based driver, who showed plenty of pace throughout the day’s eight stages, starting off with a Junior Cup stage win in the opener.

Remarkably, McRae was on track to win the Junior Cup having gone fastest on the penultimate stage, however a spin on the final stage undid all that good work and left him third for the day.

Despite the late error, McRae remained positive about the event and finishing with a class podium.

“Being here and competing on a British Rally Championship round has been special, especially given the memories from my Gramps, Dad and Uncle Colin,” McRae said

“As well as the emotions of coming here, it was also really useful to see where my pace is against these drivers. I was really pleased to be with them and ahead of them on some stages, especially with this being my first time ever over here.

“The spin in the last one was a bit frustrating. I was going pretty hard, but the tyres had gone off a little bit.

“In the end we played it safe and brought the car to the finish. Stage wins, a podium and experience on these roads, are a good way to finish the event.”

Click here to view the results.

As for the tour overall, McRae was thrilled with his experience and was grateful of having the opportunity to do what he did before returning to the ARC.

“I can’t believe the four weeks are done. It honestly feels like no time at all when we were stepping off the plane and heading straight to Donegal for the recce,” McRae added.

“I don’t really have the words to explain how much I’ve enjoyed this time – or the gratitude to everybody, to my family, to the teams we’ve worked with, to DirtFish and, of course, Steve [Rimmer, DirtFish owner] who have made the last four weeks possible. It’s been a total blast.

“Again, thanks to everybody and now it’s time to get the head down and focus on the second half of the season in Australia.

“I’m taking away a lot of new friends, a great bunch of memories and a pretty fierce determination to be back here to make a career just as soon as possible.”

McRae’s first events on home soil will be in the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship with the Grimwade Rally on 23 July and Karri Rally on 20 August.

The teenager will then make his return to the ARC at the Gippsland Rally on 27-8 August.