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Gregor Grant Award: Ron Dennis

McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis has been handed a special Gregor Grant Trophy at the AUTOSPORT Awards as recognition of his lifetime achievement in motor racing

Gregor Grant Award: Ron Dennis

After a season of change at McLaren, where Dennis stood down as team principal to focus on other aspects of his business, including a new McLaren road car, AUTOSPORT felt it was the perfect time to honour all he had contributed.

Dennis was presented his trophy by 2008 Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

"First of all, my career is most definitely not over," Dennis said. "I have just been so privileged to be part of the McLaren team. I worked out that we're 17 years younger in F1 that Ferrari, so there is a bit of time to catch up, and I am fiercely proud of this team.

"The thing I am most proud of which epitomises our determination to win is the statistic that since the beginning of McLaren in 1966, we have won one in ever four races that the ream has participated in.

"That's a lot of time, a lot of race wins, it spans a host of designs, a whole range of drivers, some great management - only a part of which has involved myself. Martin [Whitmarsh] has now got the responsibility of the grand prix effort and that carries a great deal more responsibility than people who don't work in F1 can appreciate.

"I am still very much a part of McLaren. And when Martin puts forward his recommendations, it is a pleasure to support them. Our objective is to compete in every grand prix to the best of our ability."

Dennis began his motor racing career as a mechanic at the Cooper Racing Car Company in 1966, and two years later he was famously chief mechanic to Jack Brabham.

In 1971 he launched Rondel Racing, and moved through the ranks before eventually making the jump into F1 in 1980 - assuming full control of McLaren Racing in 1982.

He helped turn the team into F1's dominant force - taking drivers' championship crowns with Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton.

But it is not just in F1 that McLaren has been successful, because McLaren won the Le Mans 24 hours in 1995 on its debut as a manufacturer with the F1 GTR.

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