Almost two decades on from his father’s last full season with Subaru, Max McRae will drive an Impreza WRX STI through 2022.
McRae will utilize the same flat-four technology that carried his Uncle Colin to the World Rally Championship title in 1995 and almost did the same for his father Alister in the PWRC race in 2004.
The world stage will have to wait for the 17-year-old, however. His focus for now is on Australia. He will use a Maximum Motorsport-prepared Subaru in the Western Australian-based Rally WA series as well as four rounds of the nationwide Australian Rally Championship, where he chases the Production Car title.
This won’t be McRae’s first time out in one of Dean Herridge’s Subarus – he set fastest times in one on two Rally WA rounds earlier this year.
“I did a couple of rallies in the Subaru this season and it was special,” said McRae.
“Everybody knows this is the brand my Uncle Colin kind of made his own when he won the world championship in an Impreza 555 in 1995. Subaru is also really close to my dad’s heart, he competed in the world championship with RED and Subaru and my Gramps [Jimmy McRae] has done the same.
“In so many parts of the world, rallying is all about Subaru and Subaru is all about rallying – I think that’s true here in Australia. So the chance to follow in the family tradition is fantastic.
“And, let’s be honest, the STI just rocks. Soon as you turn the key, you start smiling. I loved driving it this year, we set fastest times on both the Winvale Park Stages and the Experts Cup and I can’t wait to go back to those WA rounds next season. The speed we were able to show on those Rally WA rounds, I think we have to be looking for a shot at the title.
“For the ARC, that’s a bit of a different story. We’re working to make four rounds and have a look at the Production Cup side of the competition.”
Maximum Motorsport owner Herridge said he is looking forward to helping McRae progress in a discipline his family has made its own.
“We are really excited to be working on the opportunity to give Max a full season in the Production-spec WRX STI,” he said.
“We have a proven package in the Subaru and are looking forward to seeing the next step in his career journey.”
McRae has competed in both the Subaru as well as his own Ford Fiesta Rally4 and a Peugeot AP4. His father Alister felt the time has come to make the step to four-wheel drive more permanent.
“We’ve been running the [Ford] Fiesta Rally4 this season and there’s no doubt that’s a great car,” he said.
“Max has learned loads from competing in it, but I think this is a good time to make the progression. He’s done some testing and competed in both the Subaru and a Peugeot AP4 car this year and he’s made really good steps.
“We’re rebuilding the Fiesta right now. There was a bit of an off last time out in Adelaide, but it was just wedged between a couple of trees. If Max had got the car out, he’d have driven it away. We’ll soon have it looking like new and then we’ll decide what to do with it.
“As well as the Australian events, we’re really keen to get back to the UK for some rallies as well. We’re waiting on confirmation of international travel, but once we get the green light we’re going to start pushing forward with the logistics on that side of things.
“Australia’s fantastic and Max has got some really good experience down here, but we’re very aware of the need to be back in the UK and back in Europe to be starting to build some knowledge there as well.”