McLaren: 50 years of excellence
50 YEARS OF MCLAREN: A 1969 McLaren M7C (left) sits alongside the MP4-12C Spider as the automaker turns 50 in 2013. Inset: The "McLaren 50" logo.
LONDON, England: - "Life is measured in achievement, not in years alone," wrote a 27-year-old Bruce McLaren in 1964. His new company, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing, was less than a year old.
In those days, his vision was shared by fewer than half a dozen loyal staff and drivers, who slogged across the world to race his hand-built cars.
In 2013, the McLaren Group employs more than 2000 people, all of whom still share its founders ideals of combining sportsmanship, solid engineering and cutting-edge technical expertise.
On September 2 2013, the McLaren Group will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
FORMULA 1 LEGENDS
McLaren's Formula 1 team has become a global powerhouse. Since its arrival in the sport, at the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix, it has won more races (182) than any other constructor, started from pole position 155 times and achieved 151 fastest laps.
In 2012, McLaren achieved the fastest time yet for a Formula 1 pitstop (2.31 seconds at Hockenheim), recorded its 58th consecutive points-scoring finish and have now led more than 10000 laps.
The team also has created a number of F1 world champions - Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.
Ron Dennis, executive chairman of the McLaren group and automotive, said: “McLaren’s history is long and storied, but McLaren’s legacy is harder to define – and that’s because it’s still being vividly written every day by the dedicated men and women who work at the McLaren Technology Centre.
“Bruce McLaren wrote the beginning of the story, and the legend is going to continue for many years to come. I’m only a chapter, not the book, and I want other people to come in and write their own chapters as time goes by.
“This is a book that’s still being written, and that, perhaps, is the greatest legacy of McLaren.”
In the US, McLaren proved its motorsport dominance by steamrolling the opposition in the CanAm series, winning five successive championship trophies (1967-1971) and an incredible 43 races behind the wheel of its V8-engined sportscars.
The team entered the Indy 500 in 1970 and won the USA’s most famous motor race in 1974 and 1976 with Johnny Rutherford.
LE MANS CHAMPIONS
McLaren said: "In 2013, every single car in Formula 1, the Indycar Series and Nascar relies upon McLaren electronics’ standardised ECUs to control their engines and feed data back to the garage."
In 1993, the automaker launched its F1 road car. In GTR racing guise, it won the 24 Hours of Le Mans, also scooping third, fourth and fifth places on its debut in 1995.
"To this day, it remains the fastest naturally aspirated production car in the world," the automaker said.
The group's next roadcar project was with German automaker Mercedes-Benz, and saw the successful build of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, which became the best-selling carbon-based car yet.
Since its launch in 2010, McLaren's MP12C and 12C Spider remain one of the best examples of high performance sports cars. McLaren comments: "Both models exploit our unparalleled understanding of carbon fibre and electronic driver systems to create a groundbreaking product of unequalled weight, strength, performance and driveability."
The MP4-12C GT3 earned 19 victories in its competitive motorsport debut in 2012. In September 2012, as Vodafone McLaren Mercedes crossed the finish line to win in Monza, McLaren’s GT cars also took top honours in British, French and Spanish racing championships.
MCLAREN P1 SUPERCAR
In 2013, McLaren will open its 50th dealership ahead of the global launch of its P1 supercar.
McLaren said: "It’s all a long way from that small south London lock-up back in 1963 but Bruce wouldn’t wish for us to merely look backwards without looking forwards, too.
"From 'McLaren 50' logos, through our specially commissioned heritage video features, to the launch of our new MP4-28 Formula 1 car with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez on January 31st, every road we take will be an opportunity to revel in McLaren’s present while recalling our 50-year past."