First look at Kiwi racing legend Bruce McLaren's documentary

News 26/04/2017

A new documentary about one of New Zealand's motor racing pioneers is set to race onto cinema screens, with a new clip for the film released.

Directed by Roger Donaldson, McLaren follows the story of Bruce McLaren, who built his international Formula One empire from his humble Kiwi shed.

In 1958, aged just 20, McLaren left New Zealand for the bright lights of Europe.

McLaren met his untimely death on the racetrack in 1970, aged just 32. He had been testing his newly invented M8D race car in England when, as one interviewee in the film says, "all of sudden there's just...a silence".

In that relatively short time, McLaren managed to become a superstar in the 1960s world of Formula One motor racing.

And despite his death, the McLaren name and legacy still lives on.

The film isn't Donaldson's first foray into motor racing films, nor is it his first tackling Kiwi motorsport legends.

He also directed The World's Fastest Indian (2005), the story of Burt Munro played by Anthony Hopkins.

Donaldson also has a connection to the McLaren name, having seen Bruce race at Sandown Park in Melbourne in the 1960s.

McLaren's dad also lent the company's only road-made car for use in Donaldson's 1982 classic Smash Palace

"For me the story of Bruce McLaren has the same appeal as if I was making a film about James Dean or Buddy Holly - one of those icons who were cut down at the prime of their life and yet their work still lives on," Donaldson says.

He says while many will be familiar with the McLaren brand, most won't know about the man behind it or why there's a kiwi on the brand's badge.

McLaren is set for release on June 1.