Max McRae at Jim Clark Rally

Long Rake Spar is supporting 18-year-old Max McRae for the 2023 Rally season.

Max had flown home to Scotland directly from his European Rally Championship debut in Poland, hoping for a strong result on the latest round of the British series. Sadly Max had to retire from the Jim Clark Rally with a broken driveshaft on the opening stage.

I’m pretty gutted with this result,” said Max. “I was really looking forward to this event. I’d heard so much about it and so much about the stages, which are really close to home. Sadly, this is the sport sometimes. It’s possible we could have carried on, but there was a danger we would have done more damage to the transmission and we couldn’t risk that. It’s tough, but we move on from here and look forwards to Latvia, our next ERC outing.

Rally sport runs in the McRae family, with Dad Alister away with the Subaru Impreza, gaining a superb fourth place at the inaugural Logiman Mythical Cars Rally in Italy. Max finished by saying “The good news is that Dad made it home in Italy on what sounded like an amazing event.

Alister reiterated those thoughts, adding: “Obviously we’re disappointed for Max. He went there looking for seat time and to gain experience and that’s not happened. It’s also not ideal when you have new sponsors Asset Alliance and Long Rake Spar on the car, which we did in Scotland. Like Max said, rallying can be cruel sometimes. For me, I’m happy. My job was quite different here. I was at the Logiman Mythical Cars Rally to have some fun, drive a great car in the Best Impreza and enjoy the atmosphere being back on a great Italian rally. Seriously though, great weekend for us, tough one for Max – but mechanical issues are part of the game and he’ll be back soon enough.

Max's 2023 programme is backed by partners; Dirt Fish, Asset Alliance, Long Rake Spar, Specialist Helicopters, C Plant Industries, OMP, The Racing Factory and Driverrisk Management.

Max McRae
Max McRae rally car

The Car, The Challenge

The Opel Corsa Rally4 Max will drive this season is the same model which won the Junior ERC title last season. Designed and built at Opel’s motorsport factory in Germany, the car develops more than 200bhp from its 1200cc turbocharged engine. Drive is transmitted to the front wheels through a plated limited-slip differential and a five-speed sequential gearbox.

It is the very definition of a pocket rocket.

It’s also the car which holds the key to the next step on Max’s journey. Success in Junior ERC through 2023 would mean an assisted step up into the Junior World Rally Championship for next year.