Cloverdale man remembers start of McLaren racing

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Posted at 6:46 PM, May 23, 2019

CLOVERDALE — The 33 drivers that make up the race come from five continents. One international team has roots right here in central Indiana.

In the small town of Cloverdale, Indiana lives a man who helped build a racing legacy.

Colin Beanland says — back when the team was known as Bruce McLaren Motor Racing — a lot has changed since the 1960s and 1970s.

"For one thing, their lap times have gone up out of sight," Beanland said.

Beanland remembers the early days like it was yesterday. He joined McLaren on one of his first racing trips to Europe and Indianapolis for the 1970 Indy 500, where Beanland met his wife.

"We weren't a very big team, and at a place like Indy where there are really a lot of people around at the track... well, we only had two mechanics per vehicle," Beanland said.

Now, McLaren is an internationally recognized name in racing. Something Beanland never imagined when he first started building cars with his friend McLaren.

"It was something where all the sudden you were doing something you'd never dreamed you'd be doing," Beanland said.

McLaren racing failed to qualify for the Indy 500 this year.

Beanland says he wouldn't have gone to the track Sunday anyways. He and his wife enjoy watching the 500 from home, away from the crowds. He says, there is really now race experience that can beat what he's already had.

"We lived — really — the dream, and I don't know what you'd do to replace it," Beanland said. "I'm fresh out of ideas with it."