Sun 14 Apr 2024

McRae to the Max for first Junior ERC win

Max McRae delivered a strategical masterclass to claim his first FIA Junior ERC Championship win on the rough and tough stages of V-Híd Rally Hungary today (Sunday, 14 April).

The 19-year-old opted to use four Hankook tyres only during Saturday’s opening loop to preserve the remaining eight tyres from his allocation for the final three loops of stages.

 

It resulted in him leading at the end of Saturday’s action by 35.2sec. And combined with his caution-first approach on Sunday, the Scottish driver continued a long line of McRae family success in the ERC with victory.

 

His father Alister took an outright ERC win in 1996, his late and legendary uncle Colin triumphed in 1992, while grandfather Jimmy posted his last victory in the championship in 1989.

 

“It’s very special, especially on such a rough event,” said Peugeot 208 Rally4 driver McRae, who hit back from a damaged front-right tyre on SS8. “We played it quite smart and used our brains. It’s a very nice feeling. It’s a good start to the championship and hopefully we can keep this going on the next rounds and see where we end up but it’s a very good start.”

Estonia’s Jaspar Vaher had led in the early stages before dropping back after he was forced to change a damaged wheel on SS6. His charging recovery earned him second place ahead of Mille Johansson, who stopped twice on the same stage with damaged tyres.

 

The Swede was fastest in the Hankook-equipped Junior ERC category on all but one stage today as he claimed third.

 

Aoife Raftery was a career-best fourth for Motorsport Ireland Rally Academy, 5.9sec ahead of team-mate and Junior ERC rookie Jack Brennan.

 

Davide Pesavento, who was also making his first appearance in the championship, completed the top six for ACI Team Italia.

Alfred Kramer’s refusal to give in after a car-damaging roll on SS6 netted seventh overall followed by Liam Müller and Daniel Polášek, who restarted on Sunday after damaging his Peugeot’s suspension on Saturday’s opening stage.

 

Geronimo Nerobutto, who stopped on day one with a broken radiator, returned to the action on Sunday and finished 10th on his maiden Junior ERC outing.

 

ADAC Opel Rally Junior Team’s Calle Carlberg was second on his Junior ERC debut until a mechanical failure put him out on SS10. 

 

Having overcome myriad technical issues on leg one, Mattia Zanin was in third place when a mechanical failure forced the ACI Team Italia ace out on the same stage.  


Finnish Junior ERC rookie Leevi Lassila was a non-finisher as were Patrik Herczig, Karl-Markus Sei and Aleksandar Tomov.  


Timo Schulz, a Junior ERC event winner in 2023, had hoped to restart following overnight repairs to a damaged radiator only for an engine temperature issue to force the German Opel driver’s retirement this morning.  


The all-asphalt Rally Islas Canarias is next for the Junior ERC stars from 2-4 May.

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