Max McRae – son of Alister, nephew of the late Colin and grandson of Jimmy – commits to Junior ERC for 2023.
The legendary McRae name will return to the FIA European Rally Championship in 2023 after Max McRae confirmed his participation in the Junior ERC category, the established starting point for drivers stepping up from national to international level.
Max McRae is the 18-year-old son of Alister, nephew of the late Colin and grandson of Jimmy. They all took part on ERC events during their careers with Jimmy claiming 17 wins and the runner-up spot in the 1982 standings to Tony Fassina.
The 10th Junior ERC season will be contested over six events starting with 79th Orlen Rally Poland from 19 – 21 May by when Max McRae will have relocated from his home in Western Australia to a base in Europe.
“Junior ERC is the perfect step for me,” said Max McRae. “Competing in Australia has been amazing for the last couple of years, but I know I have to make the move and head across to Europe and that’s what this season’s all about.
“Talking to people like Iain [Campbell, European Rally Championship Manager] the potential career progression from Junior ERC is really clear and that’s what I’m looking at now. There are some amazing events on the calendar – events that offer massive diversity in the nature of roads, from the super-quick stages of Poland and Latvia to the asphalt rounds in Rome and Zlín. And, of course, there’s the completely new Royal Rally of Scandinavia in Sweden.”
As well as building his experience on six events he’s never contested previously, McRae will be in contention for the 2024 FIA Junior WRC Championship prize drive, which goes to the 2023 Junior ERC champion and further cements Junior ERC’s role in developing young talented drivers for the sport’s top level.
“I’ve got to thank all of my partners and sponsors who are making Junior ERC possible this year,” said McRae. “And the chance to learn new events across Europe is really important for me and my development – but the real carrot is the Junior WRC prize drive for next season. That’s definitely what we’re shooting for this year.”
ERC Manager Iain Campbell said: “The prospects are strong for another great Junior ERC season with lots of interest from existing drivers and those aiming to try out international competition for the first time. It’s the perfect platform for drivers like Max coming from national level and aiming for the Junior WRC.
“The McRae name is one of the most iconic in rallying so we’re incredibly honoured to have a third generation of the McRae family competing in the ERC. I’m sure Max will follow in the footsteps of his father, uncle and grandfather and be standing on ERC podiums in the very near future.”
Junior ERC is open to drivers in Rally4 and Rally5 cars aged 27 and under on 1 January 2023.
FIA Junior ERC Championship 2023 calendar :
1: 79th Orlen Rally Poland (gravel, 19 – 21 May)
2: Tet Rally Liepāja, Latvia (gravel, 16 – 18 June)
3: Royal Rally of Scandinavia, Sweden (gravel, 6 – 8 July)
4: Rally di Roma Capitale, Italy (asphalt, 28 – 30 July)
5: Barum Czech Rally Zlín (asphalt, 18 – 20 August)
6: Rally Hungary (asphalt, 6 – 8 October)