1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'
By: Jeremy McMullen
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By: Jeremy McMullen
| While Formula One will be forever considered the pinnacle of motorsport, from a period between 1966 and 1986 there existed a series that would likely be the closest to 'anything goes' as any motor racing series could truly get. Based upon the FIA Group 7 cars but allowed to showcase unlimited engine sizes and unfettered aerodynamics, the Can-Am cars would have to be considered the pinnacle of motorsport technology and power of their era. And for more than a couple of years there would be one team that would utterly dominate the proceedings so much so that the whole of the series would simply become known as 'The Bruce and Denny Show'. And, at Road America in 1967, the show would air for the first time.
Bruce McLaren had been blessed with an incredible gift for motor sport. Not only was he a quick driver, but he also possessed an engineer's mind, and therefore, understood aerodynamics, car design and setting up cars for each particular venue. By the mid-1960s, McLaren's Formula One career was certainly off and running but facing a plateau at Cooper. In addition, McLaren had become interested in other forms of motor sport and had even begun driving for Ford as part of its GT40 program.
McLaren's engineering mind would encourage him to start his own team to take part in sportscar racing, which he would do with a Zerex Special throughout 1964. However, by the end of the 1964 season, McLaren had built his own chassis, the McLaren Elva. With the new chassis Mclaren was showing great speed and would even come away with some impressive results.
After a number of other successes in endurance sportscar racing, many of which would come around circuits dotted all over North America, he would come to hear about a new series that would be intended to debut in 1966 called the Canadian-American Challenge Cup, or, Can-Am. Based upon the existing Group 7 FIA regulations but unhindered in a number of ways, McLaren would become immediately interested in the new series as the 'no holds barred' series would enable him to put his engineering prowess to work.
'Can-Am Road America 1967', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Road_America-1967-09-03.html?sort=Results). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Road_America-1967-09-03.html?sort=Results. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
'1966 McLaren M1B News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z11342/McLaren-M1B.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z11342/McLaren-M1B.aspx. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
'McLaren M1B Chevrolet', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4876/McLaren-M1B-Chevrolet.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/4876/McLaren-M1B-Chevrolet.html. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
'McLaren M1C Chevrolet', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/308/McLaren-M1C-Chevrolet.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/308/McLaren-M1C-Chevrolet.html. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
'1967 Can-Am Road America', video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2mdNT0JsRo. Sep 3, 2010. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
'McLaren M6A Chevrolet', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/311/McLaren-M6A-Chevrolet.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/311/McLaren-M6A-Chevrolet.html. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Riverside International Raceway', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 23 July 2012, 02:00 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Riverside_International_Raceway&oldid=503689994 accessed 28 August 2012
'Drivers: Bruce McLaren Archive', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/archive/Bruce-McLaren-NZ.html?page=3). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/driver/archive/Bruce-McLaren-NZ.html?page=3. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Can-Am', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 12 June 2012, 02:46 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Can-Am&oldid=497161549 accessed 28 August 2012
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