Young Kiwi engineering students visit McLaren supercars in Britain

Sun, Mar 5

It's been 60 years since Kiwi driver Bruce McLaren started his world-famous motorsport company, and now two young Auckland engineers have flown to Britain as part of a scholarship established in his honour and to ensure his legacy still has ties to New Zealand.

McLaren has some of the most expensive and exclusive supercars in the world, which is why two University of Auckland students jumped at the rare chance to get a look inside the British company.

McLaren intern Joshua Cates told 1News "there's just no automotive industry in NZ like this or anywhere near this scale".

This is only the third year of this engineering internship, Covid putting the brakes on it for two years. New Zealand was the only country offered the opportunity.

Founder Bruce McLaren an Aucklander himself, who was a trailblazer on and off the track before crashing and dying while test driving a new McLaren in Britain in 1970.

Anna Dernbach of McLaren Recruitment said "it's that link to that legacy of Bruce McLaren, obviously being from New Zealand but actually for us just as important is support that early years careers".

"So we've been able to see from like the smallest details from the car so the sealing, so there's one guy's entire job is working on seals for the car, right up to how they combine it all together to turn it into a cohesive package," intern Sabrina Yarndley said.

"A part you can't ignore is the contacts you get over here and how that can get you somewhere in the industry," she added.

McLaren's hoping it can expand the 12-week scholarship to include people in other countries too, and these interns say there's a bit of home everywhere.

"Everyone enjoys the Kiwi connection, when you look at the cars you'll see a Kiwi somewhere so that's quite cool," Cates says.


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