Track renamed in honour of Bruce McLaren
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Taupo circuit renamed Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park
Taupo Motorsport Park has been renamed Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, in honour of one of New Zealand’s most celebrated and legendary motorsport stars.
“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” said Amanda McLaren, daughter of the late racing great.
“A motorsport recognition such as this in my father’s home country has been a long time coming.”
“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” added Richard Izard, Chairman of Taupo Motorsport Park.
“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.”
The name change comes after a failed bid from Australasian-based motorsport magnate Tony Quinn to purchase the formerly struggling facility earlier this year after the circuit went up for sale in February — though it was taken off the market several months later in July. It’s understood that at least two other parties were also interested in purchasing the track at the time — BMW stalwart Warwick Mortimer and Queensland Raceway owner John Tetley.
“Several tenders were received. However post-tender negotiations failed to achieve a price which reflected the value of the complex. While we were going through the tender process we looked at several other propositions,” said track director Chris Abbott in July.
“We have re-structured the business from the ground up. This has been largely made possible through an injection of bridging capital to assist with unit titling the track’s adjoining business park.”
Taupo Motorsport Park played host to the A1GP series for three years between 2006 and 2009. Photo / Ross Setford
While the name change honours a Kiwi racing great, it will also increase the marketability of the Taupo venue should the track encounter any more financial hardship.
However today’s press release was positive about the track’s future, stating that “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.”
Taupo Motorsport Park received a comprehensive $13-million overhaul in 2006, before hosting the now defunct A1GP series until its 2009 season.