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Saturday, December 9, 2023

New Zealand legend Graham McRae dies

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McRae was one in all New Zealand’s nice open-wheelers stars with a prolific profession each as a driver and a automotive designer via the heyday of Method 5000.

Whereas he by no means had the worldwide notoriety of countrymen comparable to Bruce McLaren, Denny Hulme and Chris Amon, he loved vital success each down below in New Zealand and Australia, in addition to the larger phases of Europe and the US.

He received the 1970 New Zealand Gold Star, three straight Tasman Collection titles between 1971 and 1973, the SCCA/USAC Method 5000 Collection within the USA in ’72 and a variety of races within the European F5000 Championship through the interval.

There have been additionally back-to-back Australian Grand Prix wins in 1972 and 1973.

A lot of that success was achieved in a automotive bearing his personal title. Having initially been concerned with constructor Leda in England, McRae purchased the corporate in 1972 and renamed it McRae Vehicles Ltd.

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McRae raced the GM1 all through 1972 and 1973, nevertheless the follow-up design, the GM2, wasn’t as profitable. McRae offered the rights to the automotive to Talon and the UK manufacturing unit to Roger Penske in late 1973.

In 1976 McRae constructed the one-off GM3, which he used to win each the Australian Gold Star and the Australian Grand Prix in 1978.

He made a single Method 1 world championship begin for Williams on the British Grand Prix in 1973 however did not make it via the primary lap. He loved extra success in his sole Indy 500 look in that very same 12 months, the place he completed sixteenth and was named Rookie of the Yr.

McRae is a part of MotorSport New Zealand’s Wall of Fame and was final 12 months honoured by S5000’s Heritage Collection.


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