McLaren Group Chairman Ron Dennis has paid tribute to his predecessor Teddy Mayer who passed away on Friday at the age of 73.
Edward Everett Mayer took charge at McLaren in 1970 after Bruce McLaren was killed in a Can-Am car at Goodwood. He led the team to the 1974 and 1976 world championships with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt the successors.
Mayer stayed on at McLaren until 1982 when he sold his shares to Ron Dennis who had been ushered in to take control of the team by Marlboro in wake of a disappointing run of results.
Dennis says that the success McLaren have enjoyed subsequently would not have been possible without the foundations laid by the American and his colleagues.
”Teddy was one of motor racing’s few truly great men,” he said. 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 1 world championships with Emerson Fittipaldi and James Hunt, as well as huge success in the States.
He added: “Those fantastic cars – the magnificent McLaren CanAm 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.
“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. 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 McLaren Mercedes to his family and many friends at this very sad time.”
Mayer passed away at his home in England on Friday 30 January. He has one son, Tim, currently the chief operating officer of IMSA and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), and one daughter Anne.