Bruce McLaren focus of Silverstone tribute
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.