Famed racer, designer, and engineer Bruce McLaren has been given a significant tip of the hat by the motor racing fraternity, after being posthumously voted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.
McLaren, of course, needs little introduction. This was a man who came from humble Kiwi beginnings to reach the absolute pinnacle of motorsport — winning in CanAm, Formula 1, Indianapolis, and Le Mans — before then crafting a legacy in engineering and ingenuity that still lasts today with every McLaren road car that passes you by on the street.
Bruce pictured with his wife Patricia McLaren at Silverstone in 1965. Photo / Getty Images, Victor Blackman
“Even decades after his passing, the name Bruce McLaren instantly conjures up vivid memories for racing enthusiasts around the world," Indianapolis Motor Speedway historian Donald Davidson said.
"Whether they be for his Formula One driving days; for his analytical approach to racing; his decision to start up his own marque, when he could well have continued to drive for other people; his utter dominance, along with fellow New Zealander Denis Hulme of the Can-Am series in the late 1960s; or for the legendary organizations he left behind which compiled multiple Formula One constructor championships and Indianapolis 500 wins."
Fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme behind the wheel of one of McLaren's cars at the 1969 Dutch Grand Prix. Photo / Getty Images, Grand Prix Photo
McLaren joins a long list of incredible motorsport names, including both Mario and Michael Andretti, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, and Dario Franchitti — who was voted in alongside McLaren. This is the second Hall of Fame nomination McLaren's gained in the US, having joined the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in the mid-’90s.
If McLaren were still alive today, he'd be 79, and I think he'd be proud of the distance his name has traveled.