Skip to main content

Bruce McLaren

BRUCE McLAREN, victorious as a driver in a variety of racing disciplines, and the first New Zealander to win a Formula One Grand Prix, later formed the team bearing his own name, which almost half a century after his untimely passing continues to prosper as one of the most prestigious racing organizations in the world. Only 22 when he won the 1959 season-closing United States Grand Prix at Sebring, Florida for the British Cooper team, the innovative and design-conscious McLaren formed Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, Ltd., in 1966. Team McLaren would completely dominate the Sports Car Club of America’s Can-Am series with several drivers between 1967 and 1972, McLaren himself claiming the driver’s title in 1967 and 1969. Already the winner of three Grand Prix events and runner up for the 1960 World Championship, as well as third in 1962, all for Cooper, McLaren went on to win a fourth Grand Prix, the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps and place third in the 1969 World Championship while driving for his own team. He scored 27 podium finishes in Formula One, and in major sports car competition, shared the winning Ford in the 1966 24-Hours of Le Mans with fellow New Zealander, Chris Amon, and the winning car in the 1967 12-Hours of Sebring with Mario Andretti. He lost his life while testing the latest Can-Am car at Goodwood in the south of England on June 2, 1970, but the team he founded continued to flourish and produce multiple winners in Formula One, Can-Am, and the Indianapolis 500.