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How McLaren recovered from its greatest tragedy

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How McLaren recovered from its greatest tragedy
By:
, Journalist
Dec 12, 2018, 3:55 PM

The tragic death of Bruce McLaren could have initiated his young team's demise. But remarkably, and inspired by Bruce's own determination and grit, they gathered themselves and pushed on to greater glory.

Wednesday 3, June, 1970. The day after. On the Tuesday, this tight-knit team had lost their founder, their totemic inspiration, the upbeat, energetic, beloved lifeforce from which grand ambitions had been born. Bruce McLaren had died instantly when his new Can-Am M8D shed its rear bodywork on the Lavant Straight at Goodwood and smashed into a marshals' post. The impact shattered the hearts of his young family; the same was true for the band of brothers at his team, who had followed him without question.

Now what? What happened next is perhaps the most remarkable episode in the team's history, packed with remarkable moments created by remarkable people. Bruce would not have wanted this to stop, they all agreed. The only thing to do was push on, not just in Bruce's honour, but because there was no other choice - such was the team's head of steam. There were cars to build and races to win, and that was that.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren Shop Now
Author Damien Smith