NZ Festival of Motor Racing – Celebrating Bruce McLaren

January 23, 2010

Bruce McLaren defined and moulded a good portion of international motor sport that we know today. In celebration of this, the NZFMR held (and as I write this is still holding) a two-part, six-day, two location festival in honour of him and his achievements. Of course with the massive quantity ( I heard an announcer say 400 odd) of quality classic and historic cars attending you couldn’t keep us away. Without going all gooey and trying to give my unprofessional history of McLaren, all I can say is that this event has done an amazing job at doing the name justice and that I very much suggest you go experience at least some part of the rest of this festival.

It was good to finally hear the Lola 142 in full glorious song as I have been imagining what it would sound like since I first saw it. I was not disappointed.

In an attempt to capture even a pixel of the soul the cars and people brought to Hampton Downs, I have tried to keep these photos true. True to how I believe these cars should be viewed. Raw. Without colour. When I look at these photos my ears hurt. My chest vibrates. Deep in my skull the howl and cry echo.

Kenny Smith #4, took multiple wins but not without a nail-biting and position swapping battle right to the very end. I really wish F5000 never ended full competition.

Bruce Manon in his impressively agile MK2 Escort. Easily one of my favourite to watch

Next to pit lane was a marquee. In this marquee rumbled not 2010 but the 1960s to 1980s. It was a step into the past. If it wasn’t so spectacularly filled with crew tweaking, fixing, polishing and in some cases pulling whole drive trains in an attempt to fix broken gearboxes and bearings; I would have sat down right in the middle and glaze eyed watch the past be remembered. Amazing. I wish I had a ladder to photograph the entire marquee, there were simply too many cars and not enough space to stand.

Time passes and we get to the newer cars. The rounded square shapes showing greater thought into aerodynamics.

Lastly, my favourite sounding car of the day. I couldn’t bring myself to pull the colour from such a boisterous car.

I see in 2011 the NZFMR will be carrying on this good theme with a celebration of Chris Amon. I cannot wait.

7 Responses to “NZ Festival of Motor Racing – Celebrating Bruce McLaren”

  1. Slappy said

    I wish i could’ve been there seeing these awesome sites. I have so much love for F1 and motor racing history.

  2. !!!!!!! said

    Damn Yeah James Hunt was friggin legend

    Rumor has it after crashing during one race he actually ended up peeling the track mangers wife in the ambulance legend

    Great photos

    Pity Mclaren has turned into what it is now

  3. kyteler said

    Love these photos man. Awesome stuff.

  4. anth said

    beautiful images mate

  5. Shane said

    Wow I must have been all of 5m or so away from you as you took some of these shots lol!

    This was seriously the best event I’ve been to in my life, words and pictures simply cannot get across what it was like to be there (the feeling of 17000hp worth of F5000’s roaring past is one that I’ll never forget) but you did a damn good job of capturing the atmosphere with those photos.

    Every overseas driver I talked to reckoned this meeting was just as good (car quality wise) as Goodwood so that’s a pretty good sign for the coming years when HD gets their facilities in order.

    Keep up the good work, the more exposure for our motorsport history the better :)

  6. toothpick said

    Thanks, awesome photos, I was there on Friday and even then there were broken Hewland gearsets, oil leaks galore, and even an exhaust collector on a Surtees F5000 touching a brake caliper fitting. Just like when they originally raced they are still hairy fragile beasts that require massive respect otherwise they bite. Maybe thts why Kenny Smith loves them so much

  7. […] the event from across the world is inspiring. To check out my photos from last years event, click here and […]

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