Bruce McLaren’s 1968 BRM
P126 chassis# 01 V12 2493 cc – owner: Graham Adelman, USA
Graham Adelman from Virginia, USA, is bringing two 1968 Tasman cars to the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Chris Amon. The first car is the 1968 Ferrari 246T car that Chris Amon drove to overall second place in the 1968 Tasman Cup. The second is the car that Bruce McLaren drove in the New Zealand races of the 1968 Tasman Cup. Both of these cars are now maintained and supported by Hall & Hall of UK.
In 1967, Bruce McLaren had been running a BRM V12
engine in his own McLaren M5A F1 car, and, without sufficient time to develop his own 1968 Tasman car, he accepted a drive in the works BRM team in New Zealand. In Bruce’s first race in the ‘works’ BRM, the New Zealand International Grand Prix (NZIGP) held at Pukekohe on 6 January 1968, Bruce was unhappy with the car in qualifying and recorded fifth place on the grid behind Jim Clark (Lotus 49), Chris Amon (Ferrari 246T), Pedro Rodriquez (BRM P126-02), and Frank Gardner (Brabham BT23-Alfa). However, Bruce suffered from clutch and fuel-injection-system problems and retired from the Grand Prix on lap 15 of 58 laps in the race won by Chris Amon in ‘Graham’s’ Ferrari.
A week later at Levin on 13 January 1968, Bruce finished third in the Preliminary Race behind Clark and Amon and started the main race in fifth grid position. Bruce again had problems with the Lucas fuel injection system and, with near boiling fuel, retired on lap 55 of the 63 laps when in second place. The race was won by Chris Amon in the Ferrari. One week later on 20 January 1968, Bruce retired from the first heat and qualifier for the Lady Wigram Trophy race, once again with fuel pick-up problems. Starting from seventh place on the grid in the Trophy race, Bruce again suffered fuel pick-up problems, as well as needing to pull the brake pedal back with his foot. In the circumstances, he did well to finish in fifth place in the race won by Clark from Amon with newly crowned 1967 F1 World Champion Denny Hulme third (Brabham BT23) and Piers Courage fourth (McLaren M4A).
Bruce’s final race in the BRM V12 was the Teretonga International on 28 January 1968. In practice, Bruce had the BRM running well at last, and he qualified in third place behind Amon and Clark. In the very wet prelim race, Bruce had the throttle jam open with sand in the slides, and he ended up in a ditch. Rain started again in the main race and Bruce was running fourth when Amon and Gardner both spun, putting him up to second. A massive high-speed spin by Clark on lap 52 of the 60 laps let Bruce into the lead to record a win in ‘Graham’s’ BRM 126-01 – Bruce’s fifth win at Teretonga.
Graham is looking forward to driving the BRM at the New Zealand Festival of Motor Racing celebrating Chris Amon.
Source: NZFMR 2011, Page 58