1968 Belgian Grand Prix: A First for McLaren
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| McLaren and Formula One are truly synonymous. Over the course of its history, McLaren has completed 714 races and have garnered no less than 178 victories. But while McLaren and victory in Formula One are an almost certainty, the very first would be anything but a complete surprise.
In December of 1959, Jack Brabham would be leading the way in his Cooper T51 with Bruce McLaren following along not all that far behind. The final lap of the United States Grand Prix held at Sebring, Florida has just gotten underway and it seemed as though Brabham would cruise to victory and to the World Championship title.
Brabham had held onto the lead for some 35 laps, but with just a few hundred yards remaining in the race, McLaren would find himself back off the throttle suddenly. Then, frantically, Brabham would wave his teammate through into the lead of the race. All of a sudden, the rather mundane race had turned into an absolutely chaotic mess. Just when it seemed McLaren was on his way to a 2nd place result, Brabham's difficulties would allow him to come through to take the victory just ahead of Maurice Trintignant and Tony Brooks.
The chaotic events would transpire into McLaren taking his first victory in Formula One in just his first full season in Formula One. These events would end up nearly repeating themselves a decade later and would see the first for McLaren as a team owner and car-maker.
'Grands Prix/1968/Belgium', (http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1968/belgium/). ManipeF1. http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1968/belgium/. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'Belgium 1968', (http://www.statsf1.com/en/1968/belgique.aspx). StatsF1. http://www.statsf1.com/en/1968/belgique.aspx. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'Grand Prix Results: Belgian GP, 1968', (http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr165.html). GrandPrix.com. http://www.grandprix.com/gpe/rr165.html. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'1968 World Drivers Championship', (http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1968/68b.html). 1968 World Drivers Championship. http://www.silhouet.com/motorsport/archive/f1/1968/68b.html. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'McLaren Inherits Spa Victory', (http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/56592.html). ESPN F1. http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/56592.html. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
'McLaren Formula 1', (http://www.bruce-mclaren.com/info_pages.php/pages_id/11). Bruce McLaren Trust. http://www.bruce-mclaren.com/info_pages.php/pages_id/11. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
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