Photo 1974 & Profile 1976
Residence Wellington, New Zealand
Born March 5, 1940
1972 Formula 5000 champion Graham McRae finished in a tie for 17th
in the final 1975 points standings. Driving the Eddie Lewis-entered,
Armor All-sponsored Lola T332, McRae only entered five races in 75, a
seventh at Road America and an eighth at Laguna Seca his only two
finishes. He finished three races in 1974 with fourth his best placing, and
three races in 1973, eighth his highest finish. For three consecutive
years,1971-1973 McRae won the Tasman Cup championship for F/5000
cars in Australia/New Zealand in his Leda-McRae. The year of his U.S.
championship crown, he won the Laguna Seca, Watkins Glen, and Road
America events and finished the series with only one DNF on his record.
McRae also recorded F/5000 victories in Europe that year. For 1973,
his winning ways continued in Australia. He won three of the Tasman
Cup events and secured his third consecutive championship crown.
McRae started his racing career in 1958 in a borrowed 100E Prefect.
After serving a five-year apprenticeship in his father’s engineering
works, he went into his own speed equipment and racing parts business,
manufacturing items of his own design including the “Massarrari” sports
car, his first race car, which was completed in 1961. McRae semi-retired
from competition until early 1967 when he raced a Brabham formula car
in New Zealand. The next year, he built his own McRae Ford and won
the Kiwi 1.5-liter championship. In 1969, he raced a Formula 2 Brabham
in Europe, returned home to compete in the 1970 Tasman series with a
McLaren M10 and placed fifth in the standings. He returned to Europe to
compete in Europe’s Formula 5000 series in a new M10B McLaren,
brought the car home and won four Tasman events and the title. He
spent the 1971 season in Europe, racing for the McLaren works, but
also became associated with Leda Cars as a designer and development
driver. McRae raced the GM1 Leda in the 1972 Tasman in which he
captured three victories and his second championship. His association
with Leda Cars developed into McRae taking over the works in 1973 and
in 1974 assisting in the designing of the Talon MR1.