Fri 14 Jun 2024

Max Smart is a man on the move

FIA Rally Star driver Max Smart has described his progress from complete rally rookie to stepping onto the FIA Junior WRC podium in under a year as a dream come true.

The South African finished third in the junior category at last month’s Rally Italia Sardegna – less than a year removed from the first time the 21-year-old climbed aboard a Ford Fiesta Rally3 at the San Marino Rally. That wasn’t his first time the four-wheel drive Ford rally car, it was his first time ever in a rally car.

Smart’s career has blossomed within the FIA Rally Star programme and achieving that third place in Alghero brought him to tears.

He said: “This has honestly been a dream for me and as we crossed the finish line of the final stage and heard Petr Borodin hadn’t made up enough time on us I started crying. I’m flabbergasted and so happy. 

“To be standing on the podium in Junior WRC a year on from spectating in Sardinia is a dream come true. The support I have received from the FIA Rally Star team and M-Sport Poland has been incredible. My co-driver Cam [Fair] really pushes me, we’re analysing everything after each stage, trying to work out how we can do better. 

“The teamwork we had throughout the rally was unbreakable, it felt really good and I’m super-happy to be with him. Now I need to keep the momentum and learn from what we did here and keep progressing because there’s so much more to gain. I’m still so young in this sport, but every stage we’re learning, getting faster and more consistent.” 

Smart’s next challenge comes with the season’s fastest gravel rally, Secto Rally Finland in August.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM