McLaren celebrate 50th birthday during 20th Festival of Speed at Goodwood

A good way to celebrate a special anniversary is to be at a glorious event with the racing machines from the past while remembering Bruce McLaren.

The McLaren team were among the select few hard at work last weekend, despite it being their first one of the three week break from participating in the FIA Formula One 2013 Championship.

The team based in Woking, UK, certainly had a very good reason to be in the limelight at the 20th Festival of Speed held at the Goodwood Estate in West Sussex, as the sun shone on them and they marked their 50th birthday celebrations of the incorporation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1963.

Not only did a host of previous and current McLaren team cars make a special appearance for the occasion but so too did those behind the wheel of them.

The McLaren factory GT driver, Rob Bell, drove the MP4-12C GT3 car up the famous Goodwood hill during the weekend.

One of the two current McLaren drivers representing the team in the 2013 season, Jenson Button took to the circuit on Saturday and received a rapturous cheer from the crowd watching on, as he drove the McLaren M8D and also put the new P1 supercar through its paces on the hill.

Nick Heidfeld, McLaren Mercedes MP4/13
Nick Heidfeld, McLaren Mercedes MP4/13

Photo by: Anthony Rew

Former Formula One driver, Nick Heidfeld, who is now taking part in the World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans series for 2013, joined some of his previous competitors at the weekend when he got into action behind the wheel of the MP4/13, in which he still holds the current record for the fastest time set back in 1999.

Kevin Magnussen, son of former Formula One driver, Jan, is part of McLaren’s young driver programme and he made the most of his opportunity to join the team’s current two front men on the racing scene as he drove the MP4/23 car.

Button was accompanied by his current team mate, Sergio Perez during the weekend’s festivities as well. The Mexican appeared in front of the crowd in the M23 and MP4/4 cars.

Aside from their commitments on the circuit, Button and Perez also took the time to meet the many fans who had gathered at the event that creates an intimate atmosphere between spectators and their heroes from the Motorsport world.

The participation of McLaren’s young drivers continued throughout the weekend and former British F3 Championship runner up, Oliver Turvey, demonstrated his experience to date on three occasions as he drove the M8D, M23 and MP4/4 cars.

Oliver Turvey, McLaren MP4/4
Oliver Turvey, McLaren MP4/4

Photo by: Dave Dyer

The final driver flying the flag for McLaren at Goodwood for the team’s birthday celebrations, was another of the lucky ones taking part in the young driver programme, Stoffel Vandoorne, who is also developing his racing experience within the Formula Renault 3.5 series for Fortec Motorsport. The Belgian faced the challenge of the hill in the M23 and F1-GTR cars.

The McLaren team certainly seemed to pull out all of the stops to make their special birthday one to remember, not only with the driver line-up featuring current and future stars of the sport, but the cars they drove also caught the attention of the crowd, as some were known historically after being raced by former Formula One drivers in years gone by and others were existing cars in the sport or on the road from the McLaren automotive side of the brand.

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , Vintage
Drivers Jenson Button , Nick Heidfeld , Bruce McLaren , Rob Bell , Sergio Perez , Oliver Turvey , Kevin Magnussen , Stoffel Vandoorne
Teams Mercedes , McLaren
Article type Special feature
Tags anniversary, bell, bruce, button, fos, goodwood, heidfeld, magnussen, mclaren, mclaren m8d, perez, turvey, vandoorne, vintage, woking