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Bruce McLaren awarded honorary doctorate by the University of Auckland

Photograph: University of Auckland

Formula 1 racing legend Bruce McLaren was awarded an honorary doctorate of Engineering by the University of Auckland on Saturday to celebrate the University's 140th anniversary and the 60th anniversary of McLaren Racing. The ceremony took place at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, with Bruce's daughter Amanda McLaren accepting the award.

McLaren was a student at Auckland when he won the inaugural New Zealand International Grand Prix Association's Driver to Europe Scholarship. This kickstarted his career in motorsport as he went on to become the youngest-ever winner of a Formula 1 race before starting Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd in the UK in 1963. The team would join Formula 1 in 1966 and would go on to be one of the most successful constructors in the sport's history, winning 183 races and 12 Driver's Championships as of September 2023. McLaren sadly passed away in 1970 at the age of 32 as a result of a car crash, but he's remembered as one of the most innovative and impactful figures in motorsport history.

The NZUK Link Foundation works alongside the UK Friends of the University of Auckland and the McLaren Group to keep Bruce's memory alive through the McLaren Internship Scheme. The programme sponsors two New Zealanders to travel annually to the UK and spend several months working at both McLaren Automotive and McLaren F1. The internship celebrates the figure of McLaren and the shared heritage of the UK and New Zealand in motorsport and engineering but also looks to the future by encouraging technological innovation and exchange. The first year of our support for the programme in 2022 was a considerable success, and recruitment is currently underway for the next intake of scholars.


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