NDY 500-WINNING TEAM OWNER MAYER DIES AT 73 INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 -- Edward "Teddy" Mayer, whose McLaren team accomplished a double in 1976 -- winning the Indianapolis 500 with driver Johnny Rutherford and winning the Formula One ...
NDY 500-WINNING TEAM OWNER MAYER DIES AT 73
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009 -- Edward "Teddy" Mayer, whose McLaren team accomplished a double in 1976 -- winning the Indianapolis 500 with driver Johnny Rutherford and winning the Formula One world driver's championship with James Hunt -- died Jan. 30. He was 73.
Mayer's motorsports involvement stretched across multiple continents in multiple series. Born in Scranton, Pa., Mayer joined Bruce McLaren in the formation of Bruce McLaren Motor Racing in 1965 and co-managed the F1 team. After McLaren was fatally injured in a testing accident in 1970 at Goodwood in England, Mayer assumed sole direction. The team won the F1 constructors' title and driver's championship in 1974 with Emerson Fittipaldi.
Mayer's foray in the Indianapolis 500 came in 1971 with cars driven by Peter Revson and Denis Hulme. Revson started from the pole and finished second to Al Unser in the race. In 1976, Rutherford delivered the rain-shortened victory at Indianapolis -- the second of his three wins -- from the pole in the McLaren/Offy.
In 1984, Mayer and Tyler Alexander formed Mayer Motor Racing, which competed in CART with Tom Sneva and Howdy Holmes the initial drivers. Sneva won the pole for the Indianapolis 500, with Holmes qualifying second. Sneva finished second by one point to Mario Andretti in the 1984 championship.
Mayer returned to F1 the next year in a partnership with Carl Haas and Alexander, but Roger Penske convinced him to return to CART competition and the Indy 500. As vice president of Penske's racing operation, the team earned Indianapolis 500 victories with Rick Mears (1988 and '91), Fittipaldi (1993) and Al Unser Jr. (1994). Danny Sullivan (1988) and Unser (1994) posted series titles.
"Auto racing has lost one of its true pioneers," Penske said. "Teddy Mayer was a dear friend, and he brought tremendous vision to the management and operation of championship racing teams. He was a driving force behind the McLaren team's success in Formula One and he, of course, was a key part of our winning teams at Penske Racing throughout the 1990s. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mayer family at this difficult time."
Mayer remained with the team full time until the mid-90s and remained a consultant through 2007. Mayer is survived by a son, Tim, and daughter, Anne. Tim is chief operating officer of the American Le Mans Series.