There is an inspiring story of a man who had a vision that lasted over 50 years which is still going. It is a story about commitment, courage, and reward that is perhaps one of the automotive industry’s best-known success stories. The story is about an amazing man and his racing career, Bruce McLaren.
Bruce McLaren began his racing career when he was only a teenager. His father gave him an Austin Ulster that he quickly and ingeniously modified. Bruce was both a talented and successful racer and engineer. In May 1966, he appeared on the scene with his first racing inspiration, a Formula 1 racing car.
McLaren brought the racing car to Monaco and placed 10th. Two months later, at the British Grand Prix, he received his first point in a Grand Prix race. He finished in 6th place. This monumental race was the beginning of a leading technology company and racing team that would be front and center for years to come.
Unfortunately, Bruce McLaren passed away in 1970 while testing the McLaren MBD. The racing world was stunned by his death but his team, including legendary racing driver Denny Hulme, won 9 out of the next 10 Can-Am races in memory of McLaren. They also were victorious in 1972, 1974, 1976 with wins at the Indy 500.
In 1981, the racing team was overseen by Ron Dennis. Ron Dennis established the current McLaren racing philosophy which included key words such as disciplined, focused, inspirational, confident, and inspired. This team of racers, mechanics, and technicians had numerous successes and set many records that still stand today. Some of the many motorsport racers during this time included Alain Prost, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna, Kimi Raikkonen, Mika Hakkinen, Jenson Button, and Lewis Hamilton.
1988 was a special year when the amazing MP4/4 was able to win 15 of the 16 Grand Prix’s. This truly amazing record still remains today as one of the all-time sports most amazing achievements. Ten years later, the MP4/13 produced both constructor’s and driver’s titles for the prestigious Formula 1 World Championship Series. Lewis Hamilton was only in his second season when he drove one of the most aerodynamically advanced racing cars, MP4/23, to overall victory. He did this in the driver’s championship.
Looking back on 50 years of racing success, Bruce McLaren has designed and created some of the most exhilarating and iconic road cars that the automobile industry has ever seen. For example, technical director Gordon Murray and team principal Ron Dennis began a concept to produce the ultimate road car. In 1993, this concept became a reality when McLaren introduced the F1 road car. The F1 GTR was launched two years later and it dominated the podium at Le Mans.
McLaren once said that if it is worthwhile to do something well and if you die trying to make something better then this cannot be foolhardy. He stated that life was not something that could be measured in years but rather in achievements and that it would be a complete waste of life and time to do nothing with whatever abilities you had.