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From the Motor Sport Archive
THE FIRST time anyone outside New Zealand heard of Graham McRae was when he started taking part in the Tasman Series with a homebuilt single-seater powered by a Lotus twin-cam engine. This little McRae was usually the fastest of the 1,600 c.c. cars and received plenty of favourable comment. That was five years ago but McRae had been building his own race cars for several years before that with that special blend of enthusiasm and inventiveness that only a New Zealander seems to possess.
Now the 33-year-old New Zealander is the master of the Tasman Series, again with a car of his own manufacture and, for that matter, he is pretty well the master of Formula 5000 be it in New Zealand, Australia, America or Britain. Along the way McRae has picked up something of a reputation for boosting his own talent and in so doing acquired the nickname of Cassius, the offer of a race or two for Ken Tyrrell in Formula One and the very healthy sponsorship of Andy Granatelli's STP concern. While the March organisation has found it difficult to put the STP banner into the Formula One winner's circle, McRae has managed to do so on three continents in F5000. Now McRae's plans include continuing to campaign for STP in Formula 5000 but also test drive and, perhaps, even race for Granatelli at Indianapolis.