1 November 2016

Bruce McLaren – from backyard racer to World Champion

By Dreydon Sobanja
Illustrated by Murray Dewhurst
Foreword by Sir Colin Giltrap 

Published by Inspired Kids/Distributed by South Pacific Books on
October 31, 2016; RRP: $24.99

“I loved this book. Typical of the New Zealand spirit, overcoming one obstacle after another and with the bare minimum. He may have started out a bit wonky, but he ended up conquering the world! Bruce McLaren is an inspiration.” – Craig Smith, Bestselling author of ‘The Wonky Donkey’

Bruce McLaren was a Kiwi hero who took the world of motor racing by storm. But it wasn’t always that way. At the age of 11, he contracted Perthes Syndrome and spent two years with his legs in plaster, confined to a Bradshaw Frame bed, in the Wilson Home for Crippled Children. But Bruce had a big dream: about going faster. After years of hard work, study, commitment and passion, and devoted to the art of going faster, he
became a World Champion.

Bruce Wants to Go Faster tells the story of Bruce McLaren – from hospital gurney, which he raced around the wards at night when the nurses were off duty, to racing with the Auckland Car Club before heading to Europe and the big league: Silverstone, Brands Hatch, the German Grand Prix. Quickly, he became a star driver for the Cooper Car Company and at the age of 22, the youngest driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

McLaren became THE name in motorsport and Formula 1; not only for racing and winning, but for innovative car design and engineering, with the establishment of the Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Team. The name McLaren has not only left a permanent impression on New Zealand and world motorsport history, but is one of the most successful, highly-regarded and longstanding motorsport teams in the world. Bruce McLaren
was inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 1990 and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1995.

Bruce Wants to Go Faster honours the memory of Bruce McLaren and has been endorsed by The Bruce McLaren Trust, one of whose mandates is to promote the memory of Bruce McLaren in perpetuity. Trustee, and Bruce McLaren’s younger sister Jan McLaren, has been heavily involved in the publication of the book and simultaneously with esteemed Kiwi filmmaker Roger Donaldson, whose film about Bruce McLaren will
be released in early 2017.

DREYDON SOBANJA, like so many Kiwi kids, grew up idolising prominent New Zealanders who dared to dream big; ordinary Kiwis who did extraordinary things. Dreydon dreamed about sporting success and creating socially beneficial opportunities for others, but corporate life – accountancy and property investment – claimed him, and he lost sight of his dreams. Then, in his late thirties, Dreydon decided to make some drastic lifestyle changes, reclaim his childhood dreams and put them into action.

Dreydon created Inspirational Kiwis and published two successful picture books, Ed Climbs a Big Hill and Jean Dreams of Flying, about Kiwi heroes, Sir Edmund Hillary and Jean Batten. He also took up endurance sport and achieved his personal goal of wearing the Silver Fern for New Zealand when he qualified for and then raced at the ITU Age Group World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton, Canada in September 2014.  He now has the goal of being an age group world champion.

Through Inspirational Kiwis, Dreydon has been inspiring children to dream big and has been providing them with the tools to achieve their dreams. With the publication of Bruce wants to go Faster, Dreydon wants to bring Kiwi legend Bruce McLaren to a new generation of Kiwi kids, who can learn a lot from the legend. Dreydon lives and works in Auckland.

Media contact: Sarah Thornton / Thornton Communications / /
021 753744 / (09) 479 8763

MURRAY DEWHURST, the illustrator and designer of Bruce wants to go Faster, approached Dreydon in 2014 with some basic line drawings and a lot of enthusiasm. Murray has always had an infatuation with motorsport due to his late, mini racing, uncle Keith Madgwick, who himself overcame the adversity of polio to fulfill his dream of competing in motor sport. As a published urban artist, graphic designer and illustrator, Murray has done a superb job of bringing Bruce’s story to life, with lush illustrations in a hardback book that is designed to be a keepsake.