The very origins of our team are founded in the desire to race, anything and everything, and test ourselves against the best.
Bruce McLaren’s ambition to build and race a special Cooper specific to the Tasman Series actually led to the creation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd, when it was agreed his creations would not be run as works Coopers. He wanted to test himself against the best, with the best possible equipment. It was what had driven him to move to Europe in the first place.
A bright talent in New Zealand, Bruce was never going to be confined to his homeland. World championships and multiple categories were out there to compete in – he never saw a race series that didn’t entice him.
Aside from Formula 1, Can-Am was a major focus as we took five straight championships from 1967-71, two of which were won by Bruce himself. Even after Bruce’s death, as racers we have always kept the same approach of taking on the biggest challenges, including at Indianapolis.
Our proud heritage at the Indy 500 started in 1970 and saw success for the M16B – run by Team Penske and driven by Mark Donohue – in 1972. That was followed by wins for a McLaren entered M16C with Johnny Rutherford at the wheel in 1974, an achievement that was repeated two years later.
That first chapter of our IndyCar story ended in 1979, but our core values of racing in elite competition didn’t. Formula 1 has been a mainstay, but further sports car projects have continued alongside, including a Le Mans 24 Hours victory with the McLaren F1 GTR in 1995.
After nearly 40 years away, the pull of a return to IndyCar proved too great. A racing team thrives on competition, and we move fearlessly forward towards the next big test. After early steps back into the series at The Brickyard over the past few years, in Arrow McLaren SP we now have the perfect partner to write the next chapter of our North American racing story with.