APR 15th 2015

Revival To Pay Tribute To Bruce McLaren

Following on from the incredible display of machinery that bears his name at the 73rd Members’ Meeting, Goodwood will pay homage to motorsport legend Bruce McLaren at the 2015 Revival.

A sensational parade of cars from throughout his career take to the track on each of the three days of the September event.

The iconic Kiwi was just 32-years-old when he died in a testing accident in 1970, but his name has lived in one of the greatest Formula 1 teams of all time.

Already fascinated by the workings of a car, McLaren learnt to drive in a 1929 Austin Seven Ulster in his homeland and with it, not only made his competitive debut in a local hillclimb event, but also scored his first victory at the age of just 16.

Prominence was achieved in his homeland thanks to a string of impressive drives in an Austin Healey 100S, and Bruce was to become the first recipient of New Zealand’s ‘Driver to Europe’ programme in 1958; putting him straight into the cut-and-thrust world of international Formula 2 competition in Cooper machinery.

His World Championship debut came in that year’s German Grand Prix and McLaren finished fifth overall – and first F2 man home – in a T45 single-seater.

It was not long before he was promoted to the squad’s F1 line-up and became victorious at the highest level – and at that point the youngest man to win a World Championship Grand Prix – at the US GP in a T51 in 1959.

McLaren finished runner-up to Jack Brabham in the 1960 World Championship after a campaign that utilised both T51 and T53 machines and remained with Cooper until the end of 1965, at which point he left to form his own outfit; Bruce McLaren Motor Racing.

Despite the presence of reigning title holder – and fellow Kiwi – Denny Hulme in the team, it was McLaren who took the first World Championship GP win for his eponymous team in Belgium in 1968 in a Cosworth-engined M7A, and he remained competitive right to the end.

Outside of F1, McLaren won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1966 and the Sebring 12 Hours the following year, each time driving a Ford GT40, and also raced machinery as diverse as Sunbeam Alpine and Fiat-Abarth 1000 saloons, a Lotus 15 sportscar and Jaguar E-type and Aston Martin ‘Project’ GT racers.

In his own machines, respectively an M6A and M8B, he won the North American-based Can-Am Series in ’67 and ’69; team-mate Hulme denying him three in a row in ’68.

Even after his death, at the wheel of an M8D Can-Am racer, his company continued, a hard-core group of co-workers refusing to let Bruce’s legacy die with him and instead building on the solid foundations laid down by the Kiwi.

Through the Teddy Mayer and subsequently Ron Dennis eras of what is now known as McLaren International, the achievements have continued to mount up; the philosophy of Bruce’s old-school analysis and engineering tactics remaining core to the organisation’s success.

The numbers continue to stagger. Twelve drivers’ and eight constructors’ titles plus 182 victories in Formula 1; a debut win at the Le Mans 24 Hours for the F1 GTR; 29 Indycar victories including three at the Indy 500 and titles for both Roger McCluskey and Tom Sneva; and a total of five titles and a record 43 wins in Can-Am.

Even now, with the success of the MP4-12C GT3 car in national and international GT championships, the McLaren name continues to rack up the victories. None of it would have been possible, however, were it not for an Aucklander named Bruce.

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