Trent Hindman – McLaren, McLaren, and some more McLaren… Did I mention anything about McLaren?

Written by Team USA. Posted in Driver Blogs, Trent Hindman

Published on November 03, 2011 with No Comments

Silverstone, England (November 3, 2011) – The last time I talked to you, I was in a small pub in the middle of Corby. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to visit McLaren. As the world’s biggest McLaren fan, I’m pretty sure that my jaw was dragging on the ground when I saw the sign at the entrance to the McLaren Technology Center. I knew that the inside of the main building would be incredible after seeing the security gate building – yes, the security building! After that escapade, we finally went into the Technology Center, and when we emerged from the elevator, we walked out onto a balcony that was overlooking the collection of cars that are significant to McLaren’s history. Included were Bruce’s original Austin 7, Emerson Fittipaldi’s championship winning car, the first ever carbon fiber race car, the MP4-1, three of Ayrton Senna’s championship winning cars, and two of Mika Hakkinen’s championship winning cars. As I was dreaming of driving each and every one of those cars, our “tour guide” Neil Trundle had met up with us. Neil is a gentleman who has worked at McLaren since the 1970s. He has been the lead mechanic and lead engineer at one time for the Formula 1 team.

Neil Alberico and I were lucky enough to get “full access passes” by being with Mr. Trundle. He took us through every car in the collection, brought us to the wind tunnel, gladly showed us the actual race bays where the four McLaren MP4-26 cars get prepped for their next event, let us see and hold a steering wheel from Lewis Hamilton’s MP4-23 2008 car, and even showed us the machine shop. There is nothing small about McLaren either. The building is huge, the machine shop is enormous, the wind tunnel is a building inside a building; it is absolutely incredible!! I never wanted to leave!

Aside from our amazing tour of McLaren, on Wednesday, Neil and I met up with John Hindhaugh (a Le Mans commentator and founder of Radio Le Mans) to visit Lola Cars. Lola was incredible as well! Not only does Lola build race cars, they also use their experience from racing to build the carbon fiber bodies used on UAVs for the military. It was fantastic stuff! I really enjoyed seeing some LMP cars coming together. It was phenomenal! After our excellent tour of Lola, John took me and Neil to Silverstone, where he interviewed us for a segment on his Wednesday night radio show called Midweek Motorsport, right before he left to head home. Neil and I were sitting in the hotel room later that night listening to our interviews. I always feel kind of weird hearing myself talk, but I think my interview went well and so did Neil’s.

If you are currently wondering where I am writing this blog from, I am in the Cliff Dempsey Racing trailer right outside our garage in Silverstone! Today was our first day on track. It rained overnight Wednesday and the track has been wet/damp all day today. Finally it was mostly dry in our last session at 5:00 pm! I was pleased that I did get some semi-dry laps in because the forecast doesn’t look so good for the rest of the weekend, but hopefully the weatherman is wrong!

Tomorrow is another practice day and all the action really begins on Saturday morning with qualifying. I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but I can’t say enough how awesome an experience this has been for me. Every day just keeps getting better and better!

Stay tuned…

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