BRITISH dads may be a relatively simple breed but there are distinct tribes among them which can be spotted a mile away.
There’s rugby dad with deck shoes, year-round chino shorts and an eponymous shirt. Football dads dominate the TV remote on Saturday nights for Match Of The Day.
For the first time in history members of the public can now take a tour of the McLaren team’s top secret HQ in Surrey[/caption]
But I grew up with a motor racing dad. Sunday lunchtime telly was the place of worship. The twang of Fleetwood Mac’s guitar and Murray Walker revving his vocal cords.
But what they need to do is retell the magic of the early seasons.
The two McLaren drivers captured the world’s imagination.
And for the first time in history members of the public can now take a tour of the McLaren team’s top secret HQ.
There’s no better present for a petrolhead.
Architect Norman Foster designed McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey, which is home to the cutting edge tech of the Formula 1 outfit and its supercar factory.
It may be 20 years old now but, as with all things McLaren, it remains cutting edge.
Once inside you’re greeted by motoring history with a boulevard of stunning machinery on display.
They tell the history of McLaren from founder Bruce McLaren’s first race car to the present day.
And these aren’t replicas, these are original championship winning F1 racers and classic road cars worth tens of millions.
You can peer into Senna’s race winning cockpit and marvel at the gold lined engine bay of the world’s fastest naturally aspirated road car.
Overlooking the concourse area are the F1 workshops where you can watch teams of engineers handcrafting carbon parts.
It’s as clinical as an operating theatre. Spotlessly white with a place for every tool.
While you can snap away to your heart’s content around the historic cars, there’s strict no photography rules across the rest of the site. This isn’t a museum.
It’s a living, breathing, race team preparing for their next battle in live detail. And it’s a view their rivals would kill for.
The workshops sit alongside the best staff canteen in the world.
They don’t stroll past employee of the month posters enroute for a sandwich but rather walls lined with every single original trophy the McLaren team has ever won.
Unlike most racing teams, drivers don’t keep their silverware.
They have to hand it back for good reason.
It’s the 1,000-strong team behind the scenes that got them on to that podium and they get to share in that glory.
The tour whips you through race mission control, where live data is fed back from Grand Prix races around the globe.
It then passes the enormous 145-metre wind tunnel via an underground passage into the supercar factory.
While technically a separate corporate entity to the F1 team, it’s absolutely entwined into the DNA of the site.
The factory floor is kitted out like the Starship Enterprise.
And it’s surprisingly quiet because every single one of the 150 cars being worked on are finished meticulously by hand.
They are customised, rigorously tested and then shipped off across the globe.
The tour is an exclusive collaboration between McLaren and GetYourGuide, an online marketplace for travel experiences.
GetYourGuide CEO, Johannes Reck, hailed the chance to see inside a team which won championships for Lewis Hamilton and James Hunt as “totally unique”.
He told The Sun: “We want to unlock unforgettable experiences, and this partnership with McLaren gets to the core of that.”
It’s the ultimate octane fuelled gift.
And there’s limited space so grab a ticket while you can.
There was no bigger sport story in 1989 than the rivalry between McLaren drivers Ayrton Senna, above, and Alain Prost[/caption]
The car maker’s founder Bruce McLaren[/caption]
GO: McLAREN TECHNOLOGY CENTRE
Price from £450pp, including travel from Central London and lunch.
See getyourguide.co.uk for dates throughout 2023.