Young McLaren talent beaten by future Danish computer scientist

McLaren may not have won the F1 constructors’ championship for 13 years, but it’s certainly not for the lack of young talent. Pictured here is a pedal car race for the children of Formula One people from 1969, and the girl in the top car, team founder Bruce McLaren’s three-year-old daughter Amanda, had serious competition.

The scene was the 1.35-mile Mallory Park circuit in Leicestershire, and Amanda McLaren was joined for the race by Cosworth DFV engine designer Keith Duckworth’s son Roger in the middle car.

His father’s legendary engine may have propelled Formula One cars to 155 Grand Prix wins over 17 years, but September 1, 1969 was not young Duckworth’s day. The winner was the Danish kid in the third car, Rene Belsø, the five-year-old son of Denmark’s first Formula One driver Tom Belsø. Rene is now the director of Copenhagen’s Danish Center for Scientific Computing and I caught up with him to tell us about this race. Here’s what he said:

I don’t quite know how I ended up in the race, but I remember that I won it :-) I think it was just a race for all the kids of the drivers, under a certain age. I got to sit on the shoulder of Jackie Stewart with my winning trophy in hand.

Not a bad childhood memory by a long shot.

Photo Credit: Central Press/Getty Images