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The third generation of the McRae family is set to make his gravel rally debut in a round of the Western Australian Rally Championship later this month. Fifteen-year old Max McRae, son of former WRC star Alister, and grandson of British rally legend Jimmy, is already making a big name for himself in Australian motorsport. However, it's on the circuit that he's kicking his early goals, after winning the Arise Driver Search in 2019. His prize was a season competing in the F1000 WA championship in an open-wheeler, with impressive performances in his first three races recently.
"He qualified second, just 2/100ths off pole, but had a gear shifter problem in the first race and had to DNF," Alister told RallySport Magazine.
"He started from the back of the grid in race two and made his way to fourth place. In the final race he finished second, right on the gearbox of the car in front." Max set the fastest lap times in race two and three, and Alister says that while the first race retirement was disappointing, working his way through the field in subsequent races was probably a great learning curve.

Max McRae with his dad, Alister, at the first F1000 WA championship round.

He's always said rallying was his passion, but Alister can see that he's becoming more keen on the circuit as time goes on.
"Having said that, he's been brought up around rallying, so once he gets on the gravel, I'm sure his focus will be there again," Alister added.
To compete in the opening WARC round on March 28 – the Baker's Hill Sprint, and on private property – Max needs a special dispensation from Motorsport Australia. On turning 16 in June, he should be able to compete on the remainder of the events on his L plates. While he's already driven his late uncle Colin's 1997 Subaru Impreza World Rally Car (watch below), Max will make his WARC debut in a front-wheel drive Ford Fiesta ST150. The car is an M-Sport built machine, and should be the perfect low-power car for Max to cut his teeth on the slippery Western Australian gravel. Later in the year, both Max and Alister will join Jimmy in the UK for the McRae Challenge, to be held at Knockhill on the first weekend in October. Watching another McRae make his mark on world rallying promises to be an exciting journey over the next few years, and you'd be a brave person to predict anything but success.

Max McRae will transition from tarmac to gravel later this month.

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