Bruce McLaren fo­cus of Sil­ver­stone trib­ute

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - AUTOZONE -

A Bri­tish trib­ute to Kiwi mo­tor­rac­ing icon Bruce McLaren is set to fea­ture the largest ever gath­er­ing of the mar­que’s road cars.

The McLaren Own­ers Group has been over­whelmed with en­tries for the event which will take place dur­ing the July 28-30 Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic, the world’s big­gest clas­sic mo­tor rac­ing fes­ti­val which at­tracts more than 1000 race en­tries and draws more than 100,000 peo­ple and over 10,000 clas­sic cars.

The ini­tial plan was to gather to­gether 80 McLaren road cars, to in­clude cars from the 1992 F1 via the P1 hy­per­car through to the lat­est 570GT, but the event has proved so pop­u­lar that, to date, 117 cars have reg­is­tered.

The McLaren name is con­sid­ered one of the great­est names in mo­tor­sport his­tory and the Kiwi’s life has been marked with a docu­d­rama movie that was re­leased in May.

Al­though the New Zealan­der won Le Mans, two Can-Am ti­tles and four Grands Prix be­fore trag­i­cally los­ing his life aged just 32 in an ac­ci­dent when test­ing a sport­scar at Good­wood in 1970, it is as a rac­ing car con­struc­tor that he is best re­mem­bered – and where the McLaren name lives on.

The his­tory books show that the team he founded has won no fewer than 20 F1 World Cham­pi­onships – 12 for driv­ers, eight for con­struc­tors – and 182 Grands Prix. McLaren cars have also won Le Mans and the Indy 500.

Today, the com­pany is also a pro­lific maker of GT road cars and the Sil­ver­stone event will mark what would have been Bruce McLaren’s 80th year.

Lead­ing the pa­rade will be a McLaren in a McLaren – Bruce’s daugh­ter Amanda, his only child, who was just four years old when he lost his life. Today, Amanda McLaren is a brand am­bas­sador for the com­pany.

‘‘I am very ex­cited to be at­tend­ing the McLaren Owner Group’s na­tional event at the Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic, cel­e­brat­ing what would have been my fa­ther’s 80th year,’’ she says.

‘‘His dream to build road cars be­gan with his pro­to­type M6GT and has now been re­alised by the cars McLaren Au­to­mo­tive is pro­duc­ing. I am look­ing for­ward to see­ing so many of these cars in one place, know­ing how proud my fa­ther would have been.’’

The McLaren pa­rade is the lat­est in a long line of record break­ing one-make or one-model parades at the an­nual fes­ti­val of clas­sic mo­tor­ing and mo­tor sport. The

25th an­niver­sary of the re­mark­able Jaguar XJ220 will be cel­e­brated on July 29 with a no­table cav­al­cade of the ul­tra-rare two-seat 200mph­plus su­per­car.

Pre­vi­ous parades in­cluded an­other 25th birthday trib­ute to the in­cred­i­ble Fer­rari F40 back in 2012, when 60 cars cir­cu­lated the Grand Prix cir­cuit. In 2011, 767 Jaguar E-types cel­e­brated the model’s 50th an­niver­sary while two years later an­other 50th birthday was marked when 1208 Porsche 911s took to the cir­cuit.

Bruce McLaren rac­ing a McLarenFord M7A in 1968.

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