Year-long celebrations to mark 50 years of McLaren

| 22 Jan 2013

McLaren – which has won more Formula 1 races than any other team and is responsible for some of the world’s best supercars – will celebrate its 50th anniversary on 2 September.

The occasion will be marked by a McLaren 50 logo and with a series of events beginning with the launch of the team’s new F1 car, the MP4-28, on 31 January.

McLaren executive chairman Ron Dennis CBE said: “This is a book that’s still being written, and that, perhaps, is the greatest legacy of McLaren.”

The team made its debut in F1 at the ’66 Monaco Grand Prix and has since achieved 155 pole positions, 151 fastest laps and still holds the record for the fastest ever pit stop (at 2.31 secs).

In the process the company has worked with legendary F1 World Champions including Fittipaldi (’72 and ’74), UK favourite James Hunt (’76), Niki Lauda (’75, ’77 and ’84), Alain Prost (’85, ’86, ’89 and ’93) and the man many believe to be F1’s most talented driver, wet-weather maestro Ayrton Senna (’88, ’90 and ’91).

McLaren was a tour de force in the CanAm series, too, lifting five successive championship trophies (from 1967-’71). It won 43 races in the process using cars such as the M6A, which introduced the now legendary McLaren orange, and the thundering 740bhp M8F Chevrolet.

McLaren has also won the Indy 500 twice, in ’74 and again in ’76.

Its on-road exploits include the Mercedes-Benz SLR, which was built by Mclaren, the MP4-12C and the McLaren F1, which is seen by many to be the world’s best supercar and is still one of the fastest.

The Woking-based company was formed by Kiwi racing driver Bruce McLaren, in 1963. He made his F1 debut in 1958, winning four races in a career that spanned until 1970. His future as a constructor would mark him as one of the pioneers of aerodynamics, until he sadly died at the age of 32 after an accident testing the M8D on the Lavant Straight at Goodwood in 1970.