TMP, the company which owns and operates the international motorsport park at Taupo, have announced its to be renamed the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park after concluding arrangements with Patricia and Amanda McLaren, widow and daughter of the late Bruce McLaren.
McLaren, the iconic New Zealand race-car designer, driver and engineer was a winner of four World Championship Formula 1 Grands Prix, he also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966 alongside fellow Kiwi, now Taupo resident, Chris Amon, the Can-Am Challenge Cup and was the first driver to win the Tasman Cup in 1964 against the likes of the late Sir Jack Brabham, the late Graham Hill, and his long-time NZ team mate, the late Denny Hulme.
Bruce died tragically at Goodwood Circuit in England in June 1970 while testing one of his cars however having founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Limited in 1963 his name lives on in the McLaren Technology Group which includes McLaren Racing and the high-performance sports car business, McLaren Automotive. McLaren has been one of the most successful teams in Formula 1 history winning 20 world championships and over 180 races.
McLaren cars totally dominated Can Am sports car racing between 1967 and 1972 with five championships, two of them taken by another Kiwi the late Denny Hulme who also won the Formula 1 World Championship in 1967. McLaren cars have won three Indianapolis 500 races as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Amanda McLaren, who with her mother Patricia is the heiress and owner of Bruce McLaren’s name and image, is delighted her late father’s name is now linked to a New Zealand motorsport facility.
“This is just such a wonderful tribute to a late husband and father and we are so looking forward to seeing the plans the park has for the future” say’s Amanda from her home in Surrey, England. “A motorsport recognition such as this in my father’s home country has been a long time coming” adds Amanda.
“While Bruce McLaren’s career highlights were undoubtedly outside New Zealand, the TMP Board is delighted that Patricia and Amanda have given their recognition to the Taupo circuit, the only FIA Grade Two track in New Zealand and an important part of the local racing scene” said TMP Chairman Richard Izard, CNZM, OBE.
“Bruce having started his racing career in New Zealand before heading overseas in 1958 would surely approve of supporting in this way the local sport which formed the grass-roots of his stellar career, recognition of Bruce’s international impact in New Zealand has been a long time coming especially given that the McLaren name is now one of the world’s leading brands, bigger than the All Blacks, bigger than the America’s Cup” continued Richard.
Richard himself was a sponsored driver for the Standard-Triumph factory the early 1960s. This included him competing in rounds of the FIA GT Cup, a championship also contested from 1961 on by Bruce McLaren and Denny Hulme at tracks including the Nürburgring and Le Mans.
The motorsport park’s future was re-assured following a financial and management re-structure in mid-2015 that kept the ownership of the park in local hands with a new board and management.