New Zealand's most prominent racing circuit is being renamed after one of the country's most prominent racing drivers and constructors. That, of course, would be one Bruce McLaren, founder of the racing team and supercar manufacturer that bears his name, and an accomplished driver in his own right.

Previously known as Taupo Motorsport Park (after the town where it's located), the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park is the only circuit in New Zealand certified to FIA Grade 2. The complex started out as a shorter track of 0.87 miles, and was overhauled in 2006 to its current layout at the cost of over $8 million. It hosted A1GP races in 2007-09, and still brings in various touring car, GT, drifting, and superbike events. Current F1 driver and reigning Le Mans winner Nico Hülkenberg set the lap record around the circuit's 2.17 miles and 14 turns at 1:14.072 on his way to the checkered flag in 2007 A1GP race there and the championship title that season.

The renaming of the circuit was undertaken with the blessing of Bruce's widow Patricia and daughter Amanda. Their late husband and father won four Formula One grands prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1968, and two Can-Am championships. And those are just his own personal achievements as a racing driver. The cars that bear his name have won 182 grands prix, eight F1 constructors' championships, and twelve drivers' championships, plus five consecutive Can-Am titles, three Indianapolis 500 victories, a Le Mans win in 1995, and a smattering of other accolades. Bruce McLaren sadly perished at the age of 32 in a Can-Am crash at Goodwood in 1970, but as you can plainly see, his name lives on as a veritable racing legend.


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