New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaren

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YOYO
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New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaren

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Recently watched an excellent Sky documentary on the history of McLaren racing team. I did not know it was established by a Kiwi back in the 60’s. Bruce McLaren the Kiwi in question. He moved to England and brought a dewy eyed crew of Kiwi mechanics with him. Apparently he wanted Kiwi mechanics because they were like modern day Eastern European mechanics (my words) due of their ability to maintain cars with little access to parts.

I’m impressed by New Zealand’s racing heritage. What’s the car racing scene like in New Zealand today?
Last edited by YOYO on Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dark
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

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YOYO wrote:Recently watched an excellent Sky documentary on the history of McLaran racing team. I did not know it was established by a Kiwi back in the 60’s. Bruce McLaren the Kiwi in question. He moved to England and brought a dewy eyed crew of Kiwi mechanics with him. Apparently he wanted Kiwi mechanics because they were like modern day Eastern European mechanics (my words) due of their ability to maintain cars with little access to parts.

I’m impressed by New Zealand’s racing heritage. What’s the car racing scene like in New Zealand today?
TBF not as great local wise when you think local racing events, but when it comes to international PER CAPITA, probably as good if not better than always been.

EG I think Scott Dixon came second in the Indy 500 today and is still on top of the season leader board.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

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Dark wrote:
YOYO wrote:Recently watched an excellent Sky documentary on the history of McLaran racing team. I did not know it was established by a Kiwi back in the 60’s. Bruce McLaren the Kiwi in question. He moved to England and brought a dewy eyed crew of Kiwi mechanics with him. Apparently he wanted Kiwi mechanics because they were like modern day Eastern European mechanics (my words) due of their ability to maintain cars with little access to parts.

I’m impressed by New Zealand’s racing heritage. What’s the car racing scene like in New Zealand today?
TBF not as great local wise when you think local racing events, but when it comes to international PER CAPITA, probably as good if not better than always been.

EG I think Scott Dixon came second in the Indy 500 today and is still on top of the season leader board.
Have to say I haven’t heard of Scott Dixon before. Good going. Any F1 drivers or drivers in other world class events apart from Dixon in the Indy 500?
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Mr Mike
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Mr Mike »

YOYO wrote:Recently watched an excellent Sky documentary on the history of McLaran racing team. I did not know it was established by a Kiwi back in the 60’s.
I didn’t know he was a back, not that there’s anything wrong with that.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Insane_Homer »

Mclaren not Mclaran :x , please fix it.
Dan54.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Dan54. »

And McLaren's former mechanic still has the hold the record for cars 1300cc at Monaco. In those days a lot of the mechanics raced in the support races, and his ex mechanic owned and run the garage I used to go to. He still owns a mini that McLaren used to race, and is a bit of a Mini expert.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by JPNZ »

YOYO wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:16 pm
Have to say I haven’t heard of Scott Dixon before. Good going. Any F1 drivers or drivers in other world class events apart from Dixon in the Indy 500?
Brendon Hartley is a kiwi and raced in F1 for Toro Rosso, currently a test driver for Ferrari

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendon_Hartley
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by mr bungle »

The McLaren logo has changed over the years, but is now a stylised Kiwi.

Image

Some say it’s not supposed to represent a Kiwi, I think they’re talking smack.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Maniototo Man »

YOYO wrote: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:16 pm
Dark wrote:
YOYO wrote:Recently watched an excellent Sky documentary on the history of McLaran racing team. I did not know it was established by a Kiwi back in the 60’s. Bruce McLaren the Kiwi in question. He moved to England and brought a dewy eyed crew of Kiwi mechanics with him. Apparently he wanted Kiwi mechanics because they were like modern day Eastern European mechanics (my words) due of their ability to maintain cars with little access to parts.

I’m impressed by New Zealand’s racing heritage. What’s the car racing scene like in New Zealand today?
TBF not as great local wise when you think local racing events, but when it comes to international PER CAPITA, probably as good if not better than always been.

EG I think Scott Dixon came second in the Indy 500 today and is still on top of the season leader board.
Have to say I haven’t heard of Scott Dixon before. Good going. Any F1 drivers or drivers in other world class events apart from Dixon in the Indy 500?
Dixon has quite a CV with 48 career wins (and 5 championship titles) in Indy Car. He's closing in on Mario Andretti (52) wins, although I don't think he will catch the legendary AJ Foyt with 67 wins. Dixon's five championships put him one ahead of Mario but he's still two behind AJ who is one seven. Dixon's 85 points ahead in this year's title race, so with a maximum of about 52 points available per event he is going to take some catching. (Mocker god please ignore).

He had a couple of F1 tests for Williams early in his career and was quickly on the pace (although the second one was pretty much ruined by wet weather and technical issues). Word has it he was offered test driver roles at different times but wanted to be able to race, so he stayed in the States where he is now considered one of the greats of American open wheel racing.

There has been a steady procession of young New Zealand drivers come through in his slipstream.

Brendon Hartley - a two-time sportscar World Endurance Championship winner with Porsche and a a one-time overall winner at Le Mans. He didn't have such a great time when drafted into Formula 1 by Torro Rosso in 2018. He had been a Red Bull junior in his teens and had earned the superlicence points needed for F1 so they gave him another go when their junior programme failed to deliver a decent prospect. He was outperformed by Pierre Gasly and was dropped. Toyota snapped him up and took him into their LMP1 sportscar programme to replace the departing Fernando Alonso.

Earl Bamber - two-time overall Le Mans winner and one-time WEC champ. One of the most talented IMHO and had to do it the hard way. He was a very good single seater driver but had to go to GT cars to earn money. He impressed Porsche so much they gave him a seat in the Porsche Supercup (an F1 support series) which he won is his rookie year even though most of the tracks were new to him. They immediately snapped him up for their LMP1 programme where he twice won Le Mans. he has also picked up a couple of GT titles for them in the States - where he is now - and is exploring possible NASCAR opportunities.

Mitch Evans – went to Europe as a 16 year-old under Mark Webber’s tutelage and won the GP3 (now FIAF3) championship in 2012 when he was only 18. He also won a few races in GP2 (now F2) but never got picked up by a team. He now races for Jaguar in Formula E and has won a few races for them.

Scott McLaughlin – has been creating waves in Aussie Supercars. He drives for Penske (probably the biggest racing team in America which is also involved in Nascar, Indycar and sportscars) and has now won 47 races, even though he is only 27. He won the title in 2018 and 19 (including winning the Bathurst 1000 – a big deal) and is well on his way to a three peat. Penske is taking him to America next year. They tested him a an Indycar and even though the had never driven a high-powered wings and slicks race car before he was immediately quick. Quite the talent.
Shane Van Gisbergen is another regular Kiwi race winner in Supercars and took the title in 2016. Races for a Red Bull sponsored team and was a very good single seater driver in his teens. He also competes in GT racing all over the world and will drive the wheels off anything that goes broom broom.

Nick Cassidy – has forged a very good career in Japan and is one of the few drivers around outside of F1 at the moment with enough FIA superlicence points to get an F1 drive. He won the Japanese Superformula series last year and is a two-times SuperGT series (very similar cars to GTM). Superformula cars are faster (on a road course) than either Indycars or F2. I have seen and heard his name mentioned as a driver who F1 teams should be looking at. He has a personal sponsorship from Red Bull but drives Toyota-powered cars in both series so I don’t know if Red Bull would consider him for F1 given they now use Honda power. It’s all probably moot because he has signed up for Formula E.

Liam Lawson – one to watch. He is a Red Bull Junior and running third in the current FIAF3 championship despite three DNFs (two due to mechanical failures). Definitely naturally fast and at 18 he is probably the best NZ F1 prospect at the moment.
Marcus Armstrong - another decent prospect. He is a Ferrari junior but is having a terrible time in F2 this year (his first year). Not sure what the problem is because he is trailing a heap of drivers he was ahead of in more junior formulae.

There are also young Kiwis going well in other forms of motorsport. I should mention Otago local Courtney Duncan who dominated the Women’s Motocross World Championship last year. Should have won a couple of previous years as well but had some rotten luck – for instance a photographer walking onto the track on the far side of a jump to get a better shot. He also got a bike and rider and wrecked the race which could have got her the title.

One of the big things for New Zealand motorsport was the launch of the wings and slicks Toyota Racing Series in 2004. Brendon Hartley won the very first race as a 14 year-old which helped him get noticed by Red Bull. Over the years the cars have gotten faster and more sophisticated to the point that they now run a 270 hp turbo engine and use a chassis very similar to what is used at F3 level in Europe. It’s a great training ground for drivers during the European off-season. F1 drivers Llando Norris and Lance Stroll both won the series when they came down for experience and Daniel Kvyat also raced here. It was a launching pad also for all the Kiwi drivers I mentioned above – except for Scott McLaughlin who leapt straight into touring cars after leaving karts.

Didn’t set out to write so much (and I’ve left a few out) but it will give you something of a picture of where things are at.

McLaren was a phenomenon. I was a kid in the ‘60s and it was very much the norm to wake up in the morning and hear about Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme or Chris Amon winning another race somewhere – be it F1, Can Am or European sportscars. Then there were the like of Ivan Mauger, Ronnie Moore and Barry Briggs who seemed to be picking up a big chunk of the world motorcycle speedway titles between them.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Clogs »

Was there a time when he was tempted to buy a Mercades Banz?
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by madman »

Not being able to haka in a car must put some New Zealand's off taking it up..
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

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Hayden Paddon - WRC
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

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Tussock wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:50 am Hayden Paddon - WRC
Geraldine boy. 8)
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Clogs »

madman wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 7:26 am Not being able to haka in a car must put some New Zealand's off taking it up..
You trying to take the piss out of New Zealendars?
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Tussock »

cheese cutter wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:00 am
Tussock wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 9:50 am Hayden Paddon - WRC
Geraldine boy. 8)
:thumbup:
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by af73 »

The importance of the Tasman series from 1964 on should be noted as well.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tasman_Series

It gave Australian & New Zealand drivers as well as designers and engineers the opportunity to test themselves against, and potentially noticed by, the top F1 people of the day.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Wendigo7 »

Manimoto Man - with regards to F3 and F2

Liam's a good racer. With all prospects coming into F1, he needs to perform well in F2 when he makes the jump up. However, he looks good and he's not in Prema to distort his figures which is doubly promising... which leads me onto the other driver:

Marcus Armstrong - he's quick. He's had no luck and his qualifying hasn't been great shakes which usually is the difference between good and bad in F2. I think he's quick though, smashed his team properly for the first time this season, who is Christian Lundgaard (3rd in the championship and touted for Alfa seat). The difficulty with Marcus is I believe he was in Prema? last season. With that being the case, Prema are by miles the best F3 team and it's not close. They are a serious outfit in F2 as well and I've no doubt that given a couple of years in F1 they'd be near the top. Excellent team to learn and get promotional prospects. It's like being in a Mercedes to the rest of the field.

However, this applies to both and any aspiring F1 drivers coming forward - there's no space. F1 has a problem at the moment where there's been a large F2 intake of new drivers. Likely this season, Ilott and Schwartzman will probably pin down the Alfa seats. I know Mattia Binotto personally goes to watch Callum Ilott now, so there's a decent chance they want him in a seat (Almost certainly Alfa) for 2021. After they take the grid, where's the space? Williams have 2 young drivers, although Russell is probably in a Mercedes seat for 2022 so there may be a seat in Williams (now been bought out so there's a good chance they'll continue to move up the field).

After that? Most seats seem to be taken or teams are content. We need 3 or 4 more teams in F1 for me. As it is, there's a lot of I think borderline F1 standard to ready F1 standard drivers moving to Indy, V8s, go down to BTCC, Super Formula who are more than worth of a place on the grid. It'll be even more difficult when Novalak, Piastri, Vesti, Lawson and co come up as well which is a strong class and Armstrong will find it doubly difficult.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by mr bungle »

Interesting posts, chaps.

Wendigo,

Why does Grosjean remain in a seat? I haven't been watching that closely since he started, but he's always pissing other drivers off and seems to make a fair few mistakes. Even playing F1 2019 on the PS4 he's often the first driver out :lol:
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by JB1981 »

Scott Dixon brought up his 50th career Indy win today.
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YOYO
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by YOYO »

Insane_Homer wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:08 pm Mclaren not Mclaran :x , please fix it.
Fixed now.
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Enzedder »

YOYO wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:25 pm
Insane_Homer wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:08 pm Mclaren not Mclaran :x , please fix it.
Fixed now.
Yay - now I can post.

Very priviledged to have seen both McLaren and Hulme (and Amon) in my younger days when I first started taking an interest in cars (and F1 was interesting). They have always been my favourite team for obvious reasons, even though the Kiwi connection has gone now.

They did make CanAm racing as boring as batshit for many years though
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaren

Post by thor »

I’d say we have better designers than drivers, currently Rod tempero, https://www.rodtempero.com/ and Hulme, http://www.hulmesupercars.com/ do some impressive stuff, previously Britten. Plus a guy in Chch is having a crack at a McLaren f1 homage in his garage
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Re: New Zealand‘s car racing heritage - McLaran

Post by Flyin Ryan »

Wendigo7 wrote: Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:23 amHowever, this applies to both and any aspiring F1 drivers coming forward - there's no space. F1 has a problem at the moment where there's been a large F2 intake of new drivers. Likely this season, Ilott and Schwartzman will probably pin down the Alfa seats. I know Mattia Binotto personally goes to watch Callum Ilott now, so there's a decent chance they want him in a seat (Almost certainly Alfa) for 2021. After they take the grid, where's the space? Williams have 2 young drivers, although Russell is probably in a Mercedes seat for 2022 so there may be a seat in Williams (now been bought out so there's a good chance they'll continue to move up the field).

After that? Most seats seem to be taken or teams are content. We need 3 or 4 more teams in F1 for me. As it is, there's a lot of I think borderline F1 standard to ready F1 standard drivers moving to Indy, V8s, go down to BTCC, Super Formula who are more than worth of a place on the grid. It'll be even more difficult when Novalak, Piastri, Vesti, Lawson and co come up as well which is a strong class and Armstrong will find it doubly difficult.
Well, F1 is stale. No news there. They entered this season with a grand total of 2 changes. Hulkenberg out at Renault to make way for Ocon's return to the grid. And Kubica out at Williams to make way for Latifi, who was not the best driver available on the ladder. There's no good argument you can make on why Haas stayed pat with Grosjean and Magnussen when their 2019 season was such a failure. Kvyat is at Toro Rosso/Alpha Tauri because "Red Bull has no young driver to promote." "They're all waiting on the new car in 2021." Well, that's been pushed back to 2022, so add another year. Vettel getting kicked out at Ferrari has done some movement, but one of the problems with European formula car racing is the whole system is geared toward getting 1 or 2 spots in an F1 grid every year when those spots increasingly require either mega-substantial funding or you're on a manufacturer's payroll (in this context, Red Bull can be considered a manufacturer). So there's about a half dozen series in the junior formulas that can disappear and nothing would be noticed if you only paid attention to F1. Those series are important for other series like sportscars or touring cars, but if your only goal is to get to F1, then for the vast majority of those kids it's a complete waste of time and money.

I agree the F1 grid needs to increase in size. Two-fold problem there: 1.) payouts to teams for points stop at 10th place, which indirectly encourages only a 20-car grid. 2.) teams are required to construct their own car. I don't think we'll ever see a brand new team truly construct their own car ever again after the adventures of Lotus, Virgin, and HRT and their successors began in 2010. If you see a new team enter the grid or want to, it's only going to be a Haas/Racing Point deal of they buy a year-old chassis and race it, which is presently illegal although 2 maybe 3 teams are cheating it and it's largely being ignored.

Would probably be sacrilege in a series like Formula One, but if they're going to allow teams to race year-old chassis, I would just assume change the rules to allow privateers, or to use the MotoGP term wild cards. Be a lot better way to gauge potential in aspiring race car drivers than sign a 2-year contract and have to sit it out if the driver's a bust.
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