It’s been a long time since the famous McRae name has been rallying around the United Kingdom, however that wait will come to an end in 2022 with teenager Max McRae locked in for a number of international events.
Scheduled for June and July, McRae’s tour of Great Britain will see him compete in four events behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta, donned in the iconic Subaru colours.
The 17-year-old’s month-long stint will begin with the famous Donegal International Rally in Letterkenny, where his father Alistair had good success over the years.
Following on from Ireland, McRae will then head to Chichester in England for the iconic Goodwood Festival of Speed, which welcomes motorsport stars from the globe. This visit will also see the West Australian based driver debut at the Hannu Mikkola-designed Forest Gravel Stage.
At the start of July, Max heads to Scotland where the McRae name will be celebrated in honour of Max’s late great uncle Colin McRae in an event tributed to the 25th anniversary of his history-making World Rally Championship title.
Known as the McRae Rally Challenge, the event will take place at the famous Knockhill race track where rallying royalty will be on show in addition to Max debuting a Rally2 car up against father and grandfather.
His trip will conclude in Wales for the Nicky Grist Stages, which is part of the British Rally Championship and hosts roads famous for once being on the FIA World Rally Championship stage.
However, before he sets off on his UK trip, McRae will be contesting this weekend’s Make Smoking History Forest Rally as part of the RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC).
While the ARC hasn’t been to Western Australia since 2019, McRae had the opportunity to compete in the rally in 2020 as part of the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship.
Although he didn’t place in the top 10, it was early on the youngster’s career and he has since improved significantly, having won stages in the state championship since then before placing on the Shamrock Haulage ARC 2WD Cup podium at last year’s Accent Benchtops Rally Queensland.
With his Ford Fiesta to be in the same Subaru blue livery made famous by his dad and uncle, McRae was excited to get started this weekend.
“It all starts with the Forest Rally this weekend,” McRae said.
“Seeing the Subaru in that famous blue gives me goosebumps. I’ve seen so many cool pictures from when Dad and Uncle Colin drove Rally GB together for Subaru in 1998 and to have the chance to compete in the same colours is something really special for me.
“And the Forest Rally’s going to be a big challenge, with crews from both WA and ARC coming – it’s a good chance for me to measure my speed against the best in Australia.”
As for his trip abroad, McRae was looking forward to heading to some of the places that made his surname famous.
“It’s fair to say there’s a lot to be excited about,” McRae said.
“I was already stoked to be driving the Subaru in the WA and Australian Championships and I have to say a massive thanks to Blair [Read, managing director Subaru Australia] and his team for their support.
“To have a winter – or summer as it’ll be up there – like the one we have planned now is amazing. I’m really grateful for the work people have put in to make this happen.
“I’ve grown up listening to Dad’s stories about Donegal and I just can’t wait to get over there and have a go for myself. I’ve watched some of the onboards on YouTube and the stages look amazing! It’s the same for the Nicky Grist. I feel like I’ve already been on some of those roads from the stories and the videos.
“For Goodwood, everybody knows the Festival of Speed. I know there are a lot of people from here who fly all the way over from Australia just for that weekend. To be going and having the chance to get in a car at the event is unreal.
“And then there’s Knockhill. This is going to be crazy, competing against my dad and my gramps for the first time. It’ll be my first time in a Fiesta Rally2, which is something else I can’t wait for. To be around people, like family and friends from around the world will make this an unforgettable weekend.”
The Make Smoking History Forest Rally takes place in Bunbury and Nannup in Western Australia on 21-22 May.