Bruce McLaren

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Bruce McLaren. He crashed just off the Lavant Straight at Goodwood while testing his new Can-Am M8D when the bodywork loosened and shifted, caused the car to destabilise and hit a bunker – he was killed instantly.
McLaren was one of very few drivers in the history of the sport that was capable of making things work as a driver, engineer and team boss, although none of this would have been possible without Teddy Meyer by his side. McLaren’s accident left a gaping hole in the team, but whereas many squads would fall apart under the absence of their primary figure, Teddy Meyer assumed full control of the team and led them on a successful run that continues to this day, albeit under the guidance of Martin Whitmarsh.

Although virtually dominant in Can-Am Sportscar Racing, in 100 Formula 1 World Championship starts, the Kiwi managed to take four victories for both Cooper and McLaren, while also racing for a short period with Anglo American Racers – a division of All American Racers started by Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby. McLaren twice finished third in the World Driver’s Championship; to Graham Hill in 1962 (driving for Cooper) and in 1969 in his own McLaren creation, while trailing Jackie Stewart.  In total, McLaren have amassed 12 Driver’s titles, 8 Constructor’s Championships and three Indianapolis 500 race wins.

In the video below, former McLaren associates Tyler Alexander and Gordon Coppock reminisce about McLaren and about his death.

2 thoughts on “Bruce McLaren

    1. Hahahaaa… brilliant!! Only I could make that mistake. Kind of want to leave it in now, but best not.

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