Dennis pays tribute to Mayer

McLaren team principal Ron Dennis has paid tribute to Teddy Mayer, who died on Friday

Dennis pays tribute to Mayer

Mayer was one of the team's founders, and ran the operation between Bruce McLaren's death in 1970 and Dennis's arrival in 1980.

"Teddy was one of motor racing's few truly great men," said Dennis.

"As far as I and all at McLaren are concerned, he has particular importance, on account of the fact that in 1963 he was part of the very small team of talented enthusiasts who, alongside Bruce McLaren, founded Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd.

"Bruce died tragically young in 1970, having won grands prix but no world championships with his fledgling team, but when I bought into the team in 1980 Teddy had built on the foundations laid by Bruce, Tyler Alexander and himself and had already achieved a lot - two Formula One world championships with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt, as well as huge success in the States.

"Those fantastic cars - the magnificent McLaren Can-Am cars driven by Denny Hulme and Bruce himself and the superb McLaren CART cars driven by guys like Johnny Rutherford, as well as James's and Emerson's iconic McLaren M23 Formula 1 cars - grace the boulevard reception area of the McLaren Technology Centre today."

Although Mayer initially stayed on after Dennis's arrival, he left in 1982, before the team recaptured their title-winning form.

But Dennis emphasised that all McLaren's successes after Mayer's departure had their roots in what he had achieved in the team's formative years.

"In 1982 Teddy sold his shares in McLaren, and I'm glad to say we've continued to be successful, and to win world championships, ever since," Dennis said.

"But the origins of our many and ongoing successes are with Bruce and Teddy.

"So I would like to pay tribute to Teddy's enormously valuable contribution, and to his immortal legacy, and to extend the sympathies of all at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes to his family and many friends at this very sad time."

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Teddy Mayer 1935-2009
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