Wed 06 Sep 2023

McRae taking it to the Max in Junior ERC

Max McRae has been on impressive form in this season’s FIA Junior ERC Championship with the teenage Scot among the top rookies ahead of next month’s Rally Hungary finale.

McRae, who turned 19 on the opening leg of Tet Rally Liepāja in June, has led the Hankook-equipped category on three events, scored three stage wins, occupied a provisional podium place and registered points finishes four times out of five.

After five rounds, McRae is seventh in the provisional Junior ERC standings but still in contention to finish the season as the top rookie for his Portuguese team, The Racing Factory.

The nephew of the late Colin McRae and grandson of former ERC frontrunner Jimmy McRae, Max McRae switched to a new Opel Corsa Rally4 for last month’s Barum Czech Rally Zlín.

Having overcome a powersteering issue, McRae was on course to finish a career-high second in class until he retired two stages from home.

“A slippery hairpin caused us to understeer into a ditch, unfortunately resulting in a broken component,” McRae explained afterwards. “This is my fault and I am sorry to the whole team and everyone else. Our time will come.”

McRae had begun his maiden Barum Czech Rally Zlín adventure in style by winning the opening super special stage on the streets of host city Zlín on the Friday night. It was a repeat of his Rally di Roma Capitale heroics when he was also the quickest Junior ERC driver on the Friday night super special in front of Rome’s famous Colosseum the previous month.

Of his other Zlín highlights, McRae went quickest of the Junior ERC drivers on the first run through the legendary Pindula stage and was also holding second place in class up until the penultimate stage of the demanding Tarmac event.

McRae, who is co-driven by Irishman Mac Kierans, also reported a “big moment” approximately one kilometre before the finish of the Halenkovice stage on Sunday morning.

“We went a lot faster than we should have gone over a crest, a left over a crest and the car went full off the ground and into a bank on the side and up on two wheels,” he said.

Rally Hungary forms the Junior ERC finale from 6 - 8 October with the Hankook-equipped drivers set to be tested over a 12-stage route featuring 180.26km of timed action.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM