Max McRae, nephew of legend Colin McRae, takes on high-octane rally car circuit

Michael TraillThe West Australian
Max McRae is looking to make his own mark on the world stage.
Camera IconMax McRae is looking to make his own mark on the world stage. Credit: Supplied/Supplied

Most 17-year-old drivers are still trying to get their heads around merging on Perth’s roads or executing a parallel park.

Max McRae, however, is gearing up to take on Australia’s most fearless drivers on the high-octane rally car circuit.

And given his pedigree, it is no surprise he has his sights on world stages.

Max’s grandfather, Jimmy, holds five British Rally Championship titles — the greatest number of any driver — while his father, Alister, enjoyed a decorated international career spanning more than two decades.

But the most famous McRae name in the sport belongs to Max’s uncle — the late Colin McRae.

Max McRae with father Alister McRae (left) and grandfather Jimmy McRae (right).
Camera IconMax McRae with father Alister McRae (left) and grandfather Jimmy McRae (right). Credit: supplied/supplied

The Scottish driver won the 1995 World Championship and helped Subaru claim a hat-trick of World Rally Championship Manufacturer’s titles between 1995 and 1997.

Colin McRae’s revered reputation led to video-game makers Codemasters releasing seven racing games in his name between 1998 and 2009.

His sudden death in a helicopter crash less than 2km from the McRae family home in Scotland in 2007 shocked the racing world.

His five-year-old son, Johnny, and family friends Graeme Duncan and six-year-old Ben Porcelli, also perished in the crash.

Max, who lives in Perth, has now been tipped to carry on his family’s legacy in their beloved motorsport and has just signed with Auto One ahead of the 2022 Australian Rally Championship.

Colin McRae
Camera IconColin McRae Credit: Unknown/Supplied

He finished second in the National Junior Championships in Queensland earlier this year.

“I’ve always been obsessed with rally racing and am excited to enter the big league,” he said.

“I just love the absolute commitment while driving, the speed of it all, and how fearless you have to be.

“My Grandfather and Dad have always told me to put as much effort that I can into motorsport, whether that’s on the stages or off training in the gym.”

Max McRae crosses the line first in the KA4 junior lights.
Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser
Camera IconMax McRae crosses the line first in the KA4 junior lights. Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Max has clearly left an impression on his new sponsors, who are backing his aspiration of competing on European circuits after next year’s seven-round national championship.

“Max is such a strong asset to our team,” Auto One spokeswoman Lara Galvin said.

“He is committed and dedicated to his craft, as well as a great role model for other youths in sport.”

When Max is not preparing for his next race, he works as mechanic at Neerabup-based Arise Racing.

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