Inaugural scholarship gives New Zealand engineer the chance to follow Bruce’s legacy via internship in Woking.


Amanda McLaren, daughter of our company founder Bruce, congratulates the recipient of the first University of Auckland student internship, Andrew McLaren (no relation).

Almost 60 years after Bruce McLaren won the ‘Driver to Europe’ scholarship which first brought him to the UK from his native New Zealand, McLaren Automotive is assisting young engineers to make the same journey in a collaboration with the University of Auckland.

The first student to benefit from the Bruce McLaren Scholarship is Andrew McLaren, and he was awarded his internship at a special McLaren Future Legacies Dinner in Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour, New Zealand over the weekend. The dinner brought together famous names, McLaren owners and many fans of the brand for a night of fine dining, great company and a charity auction to launch the new partnership. The evening also marked the start of the 2016 McLaren Epic New Zealand Tour, which sees a fleet of cars travel through some of the country’s best driving roads.

Andrew McLaren is no relation to our founder, but the coincidence of his surname only helps to reinforce the symmetry: Bruce was a student at the University of Auckland in 1957. After winning the then-new Driver to Europe scholarship, Bruce arrived in the UK in 1958 and in a little over a year he became the youngest ever Formula 1 winner, taking victory in the 1959 US Grand Prix.

Bruce wasn’t just a great driver, however, he was also an engineer and an innovator, and it’s this legacy that McLaren wishes to celebrate with the new University of Auckland scheme. The University of Auckland will also honour Bruce McLaren’s legacy by establishing a specialist research centre in his name. The Centre will be located within the newly constructed Newmarket campus and its development is a priority programme for the University. The project has the support of McLaren Automotive, McLaren Applied Technologies, and of the McLaren family.


Clockwise from top left: Le Mans winner and former McLaren F1 driver Derek Bell at the Future Legacies dinner in Auckland, New Zealand; McLaren Automotive CEO Mike Flewitt; Andrew McLaren steps up to be announced as the first Bruce McLaren Scholar; McLaren drivers Bruno Senna, Derek Bell and Stefan Johansson interviewed on stage.

A twenty-year-old Bruce McLaren on his way to England in March 1958 after winning the New Zealand ‘Driver to Europe’ scholarship.

As the scholarship’s first recipient, Andrew, a third-year student in the Faculty of Engineering studying Mechatronics Engineering, will now spend nine weeks at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, working alongside the company’s Research and Development engineers. ‘I can’t wait,’ he said of his opportunity. ‘It’s a field that’s hard to get into because there is very little opportunity in New Zealand, so I thought I would never get a chance like this.

Also attending the Future Legacies Dinner in Auckland was Brand Ambassador for McLaren Automotive and daughter of Bruce, Amanda McLaren. ‘I’m delighted to welcome Andrew to McLaren Automotive to continue his education,’ she said after the award was made. ‘Even though my father passed away many years ago, the connection between McLaren and New Zealand still remains very strong and the parallels in both of their early careers are especially poignant.

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