It’s 1995, and Colin McRae has just become Britain’s first World Rally champion and the youngest driver ever to clinch the title. Fast forward nearly 25 years, and here comes his nephew, Max, a third-generation driver from the McRae stable, with his sights set on following uncle Colin, father Alister and ‘Gramps’ Jimmy into the sport their family name is synonymous with.
Max is powersliding his way through a gravel stage at Walters Arena, the rally stage and test venue, just half an hour north east of Swansea. The 15-year-old hopes to follow in his uncle’s tyre tracks and is spending time driving some of Colin’s old cars.
Not any old cars, like the clapped-out Ford Capri 1300L, in brown paint with a vinyl roof, that was Colin’s first car after passing his driving test. The three machines represent the three most significant stages of Colin’s career: a Subaru Legacy RS, and Impreza and Focus World Rally Cars.
“Rallying is what I really want to do with my life… I’d do anything”
This year, Max will undertake a season of racing in the Western Australia Formula 1000 series. But he says his heart is set on rallying, and he’ll be driving at the McRae Rally Challenge, in October at Knockhill. “I hope destiny is calling me for rallying. That’s really what I want do with my life. For rallying, I’d be willing to do anything, even leave Australia and come back to Britain. It’s a really special day, especially to be driving that car with the McRae
name on it.”