The 16-year-old Scottish-born Australian contested the WA Bakers Hill Sprint on roads close to those used in the Perth-based Rally Australia until 2006 and was running an impressive fourth in class before his Ford Fiesta ST succumbed to a transmission problem.
Despite never having competed on gravel roads before, the son of Alister and nephew of Colin McRae was immediately into the swing of sliding a car complete with learner plates.
Following his retirement on SS5, Max said his priority was to get to the bottom the problem.
“It was really cool to start competing on the gravel,” he said. “I’d been waiting for that moment for a long time and it was sweet to get started. The first two stages were great and we were running well.
“The third stage was good as well, but then I felt the car started to grab on the left front wheel. We got out of the stage and changed the shaft, but there was a lot of noise going into the fifth stage, I think something was damaged in the diff. We pulled over rather than do more damage.
“Now we’ve had a look at the car, we’re going to do some testing to find out what caused the problem and how we fix it and make it faster.”
Father Alister was impressed with his son’s debut. “He did well. It’s good to get that first event under his belt, OK, it maybe didn’t last as long as we’d hoped, but we’ll get the car fixed and out again and see how we go.”
Max is contesting this year’s Rally WA series, with his next outing at the Make Smoking History Rally (3 September).