Some of McLaren’s greatest Formula 1 cars from across history roared to life at Sonoma Raceway this past weekend.

The special occasion was a part of the Velocity Invitational Motorsport event held in California on November 10-12.

The event saw machinery from all corners of motorsport history take to the track and McLaren CEO Zak Brown, a passionate petrolhead, ensured his team was represented to the full.

Norris drives the Mclaren MP4/2

Lando Norris got his hands on Alain Prost’s 1984 McLaren MP4/2 at Sonoma.

Prost’s McLaren MP4/2 was powered by a twin-turbo 1.6 litre Tag-Heuer-branded Porsche engine, coupled with a manual gearbox, boasting up to 1050 BHP at 12,600 RPM in qualifying trim.

Designer John Barnard coupled this mighty engine with the latest iteration of his highly innovative carbon fibre monocoque chassis and a dominant F1 weapon was born.

In the hands of Prost and Niki Lauda, the MP4/2 won 12 of the 16 Grands Prix in 1984, with seven going to Prost.

But despite outperforming Lauda throughout the majority of 1984, Prost agonisingly missed out on the title to his teammate in the final race of the year in Portugal, by half a point, the closest title win in the history of F1.

Pato O’Ward pilots the McLaren MP4/23

McLaren’s IndyCar ace Pato O’Ward got his hands on the last McLaren machine to win the F1 Drivers’ title, the McLaren MP4/23.

The Mexican ace was able to wrestle the shining silver machine that Lewis Hamilton dramatically drove to his first title on the final lap of the 2008 season.

After a year-long battle with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, Hamilton saw the chance of a first title slipping through his fingers before passing a slowing Timo Glock on the final corner of the famed Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo in one of the most dramatic season finales in F1 history.

With grooved tyres, adorned with a plethora of aerodynamic winglets and powered by a screaming 2.4 litre naturally aspirated Mercedes V8 engine, the MP4/23 is a defining example of an F1 spectacle.

Tanner Foust gets a double dose of title-winning McLarens

10-time XGames medalist and all-around motorsport superstar was able to sample two title-winning McLarens at Sonoma.

Foust was able to sample the legendary Aryton Senna’s 1991 McLaren MP4/6, sporting a monstrous Honda V12 engine and Mika Hakkinen’s 1999 MP4/14, home to a fan favourite 3.0 litre screaming V10 power plant.

Foust was delighted to get behind the wheel of both machines, particularly the one that guided Hakkineen to his second successive title, taking to Instagram to call the MP4/14 a car from his “favourite era of F1,” belonging to one of his “favourite drivers.”

“What a humbling experience,” he said.

“To give reference on the speed of this car (even in my hands on a ‘cautious’ lap) it hits over 170mph in three places on this twisty track!”

Tony Kanaan drives his favourite McLaren

Foust wasn’t the only one to get behind the MP4/6 either, with 2004 IndyCar Champion and 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan getting behind the wheel of Senna’s last title-winning car.

Kanaan admitted to The Racer Channel that the opportunity to drive the MP4/6 was going to be “right there with my Indy 500 win,” with Senna’s McLaren being a particular favourite of his.

The MP4/6 guided Senna to seven race victories en route to the ’91 Drivers’ title.

“I’m speechless, I don’t think I have enough words to describe what this day meant to me,” Kanaan said after sampling the car for the first time.

Countless other McLarens from years gone by took to the track in the Velocity Invitational.

Check them out below.

Some of McLaren Racing’s royalty.

More fun on track today at #VelocityInvitational!

— McLaren (@McLarenF1) November 12, 2023

Source:  Read More 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *