McRae confirmed as M‑Sport driver for BRC

DirtFish driver Max McRae will contest this year's British Rally Championship in a factory M-Sport Ford Fiesta Rally2


The McRae name is back in the British Rally Championship with 19-year-old Max McRae confirmed as part of M-Sport’s line-up for this year’s series.

The DirtFish driver finished a sensational third on his four-wheel drive BRC debut at October’s Cambrian Rally. The Škoda he used in North Wales will be replaced by an M-Sport-run Ford Fiesta Rally2 in time for the North West Stages (March 22/23).

McRae will be the third generation of world rallying’s most famous family to tackle a British program, following in the footsteps of gramps Jimmy, uncle Colin and dad Alister. He joins Garry Pearson as part of a two-car M-Sport team for 2024.

“It’s really cool,” McRae Jr told DirtFish. “There’s a real history with the McRae name and the British championship. Obviously I don’t remember gramps or uncle Colin or dad competing, but I’ve watched a heap of videos and listened to so many of the stories.


The DirtFish-backed driver is the third generation of the McRae dynasty to tackle Britain's premier series

“It’s going to be really nice to be out on these events and meeting fans of the family.”
Max’s BRC program includes just four of the six rounds and he’s treating it very much as a learning season.

“The North West [Stages] will be my first real event on Tarmac in a Rally2 car,” he said. “I drove a Fiesta at Knockhill on the McRae Rally Challenge a couple of years ago, but this is very different now.

“The only target I have for the first event is to get as much experience as I can. I’m so excited to be driving an M-Sport car. It’s being built at the moment, it’s going to be a brand new car for me – how cool is that! Honestly, every time I think about that, I start smiling all over again.

“Knowing we’re with M-Sport means so much, it really gives complete confidence in the car and let’s me focus completely on the driving.


The 19-year-old Scot impressed with third place on his Rally2 BRC debut at October's Cambrian Rally

“When you look at the entry for North West, there’s some real strength there with drivers like Keith [Cronin] and obviously it’s Chris Ingram’s home event. For me if I can get somewhere in the top 10 with the times getting progressively quicker through the event then I’ll be happy.

“Some people are talking about the pressure of competing in Britain after the success gramps, dad and uncle Colin did, but I don’t see it that way. For me, it’s no different to last year, I think people are starting to see me as myself and starting to follow me for my driving.”

McRae will be co-driven by fellow Scot Cameron Fair from now on.

Max said: “Mac [Kierans, former co-driver] had a lot of work commitments back in Australia, so he couldn’t commit for this year. Cameron and I did the Cambrian together and it worked well. I’m looking forward to it.”


McRae got his first taste of a Ford Fiesta Rally2 at the 2022 McRae Rally Challenge at Knockhill

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener said: “The BRC is a championship close to the heart of Malcolm [Wilson, M-Sport managing director], myself and the whole of M-Sport so being represented in the UK’s premier series is vitally important for us.

“The pairing of Garry and Max, I feel, is a really strong one, and I look forward to seeing how they fair in the latest spec Fiesta Rally2. It won’t be an easy task as the entry to the championship is the strongest in years, partly due to the new event calendar, but also the recently announced TV coverage following each event. I am looking forward to seeing the start of the season only a few weeks from now.”

Words:David Evans