Max McRae: An introduction from DirtFish’s latest signing

Teenager will dovetail gravel rallies with existing single-seater campaign

Alister McRae Max McRae Jimmy McRae

One of the questions I get asked most is whether I want to stay with racing or if I’ll follow my family into rallying. The answer’s got to be rallying. I’m a McRae! But having said that, I’m really loving my time in Formula 1000.

I came to this series from karting and to get into something with slicks and wings is a fairly big step, but it’s great fun. I’d definitely be up for racing open wheels and maybe some touring cars, but stepping into V8 [Australian Supercars] might be a bit full-on. But ultimately it’s rallying for me. That’s always been the objective and that hasn’t changed.

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The Suzuki was a great way to learn to drive a rally car, but the Fiesta is something else. We’re running it in gravel-spec so feeling the weight transfer and how the car moves about on the brakes – and learning to use that is really cool. It’s got a bit more power than the Suzuki so I’m happy for that as well.

I’m 16 in June and the hope is that I can get out and do some gravel rallies with the ‘L’ plates on the car. I can’t wait. I’ve done a bit of testing and the car’s fantastic. We’ve got it on Reiger suspension, so it’s really cool to be working with that as well.

I was over in Wales with gramps and dad last year and I got the chance to drive Steve’s Subaru [Legacy RS], the car Uncle Colin drove in Sweden [in 1992]. That was amazing, just an incredible opportunity to drive a car like that on a real, proper Welsh forest stage. In some ways that spoiled me a little bit coming to the Fiesta, but it was really something I’ll never forget. And something I have to thank Steve for again.

DirtFish supporting me is great this year as well – it’s something I’m really excited about. Especially with Ott Tänak being another DirtFish driver!

Jimmy McRae Max McRae

I think you wanted to know about who was the best co-driver, dad or gramps? OK, I’ve got to say, they’re both pretty good. But if I had to go with only one of them, it would have to be gramps – sorry dad!

Dad’s great, but he gets distracted pretty quickly and forgets to tell me where I’m going. And he pushes me a bit more. Gramps is cool. He’s pretty relaxed in the car. He’s patient with me and waits until we get to the end of the stage before he tells me where I could improve.

But I’ll be honest, it’s great having either of them with me – because it means I’m driving!