McLaren Racing Inducted to Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame
With McLaren’s success in racing, its induction to the hall of fame is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when.’ Racing legend Johnny Rutherford had similar thoughts. As one of only ten drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 title at least three times, Rutherford himself believed it was only a matter of time before McLaren Racing received its Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame honors.
"They've had a lot of successes here, performed well here," said Rutherford during an interview with the Canadian Press on evening of Wednesday, February 12, a few hours before the start of the induction gala. "I think that the fact that they were so successful, that they're considered one of the better racing teams, that's just the way it is."
Since its inception in 1966, McLaren has been nothing short of a force of nature in Formula 1, winning the Canadian/American Challenge Cup five times in a row sometime between the from 1967 to 1972. The British team has also won the Canadian Grand Prix a total of 13 times, with Lewis Hamilton winning the last one in 2012.
McLaren Racing was inducted into the international wing of the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame at a special event on the gala night of February 12, with more inductions scheduled for Saturday, February 15.
The name McLaren comes from New Zealand driver Bruce McLaren, who founded the team in 1966. He was the McLaren team’s first winner in the Canadian/American Challenge, winning the Cup in 1967 and 1969 before his untimely death in 1970, while he was testing a new car for the brand. The team that he founded, McLaren Racing, soldiered on after his death, continuing his spirit of perfection and eventually leaving an indelible mark on auto racing to this yesterday and today.
"When you look at the 1970s and 1980s when Ayrton Senna was running for McLaren, it was great, and we had a great race in Canada, in Montreal," said Francois Dumontier, the president and CEO of the Canadian Grand Prix, told the Canadian Press. Dumontier was referring to the Brazilian's victories for McLaren in Montreal in 1988 and 1990. "When you look at Lewis Hamilton, who is now a six-time world champion, his first ever victory was on a McLaren in Montreal in 2007."
McLaren’s induction ushers in the Canadian International Auto Show, which opens on Valentine’s Day, Friday, at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. The event will feature an exhibit detailing the history of the McLaren Racing Team.