JANUARY 31, 2009
Teddy Mayer 1935-2009
Edward Everett "Teddy" Mayer died at his home in England on Friday, at the age of 73. He is survived by a son, Tim, and a daughter, Anne
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mayer attended Yale University and then studied law at Cornell, graduating in 1962. During his time at Cornell he became involved with running Rev-Em Racing, a Formula Junior team for his brother Timmy and a college friend Peter Revson. In 1963 the Mayers and Revson went to Europe to take part in Formula Junior races and the following year Mayer helped Bruce McLaren to establish Bruce McLaren Motor Racing Ltd. Although Timmy was killed racing at Longford in Tasmania in 1965, Teddy continued in the sport and after McLaren's death became the force behind the Team McLaren. The organization enjoyed great success in CanAm, CART and Formula 1, winning World Championships with Emerson Fittipaldi in 1974 and James Hunt in 1976.
In the late 1970s, however, the team began to struggle and in 1980 sponsor Marlboro insisted that McLaren go into partnership with Ron Dennis's Project 4 Racing. Mayer stayed on as joint managing-director until 1982 when he sold his shares in the team and departed, establishing Mayer Motor Racing with Tyler Alexander for the 1984 CART Championship. Running Tom Sneva and Howdy Holmes the team was an immediate success. In the autumn of that year, however, Carl Haas convinced Beatrice Companies Inc. - a massive American consumer conglomerate - to finance a Formula 1 team, Haas/FORCE. Haas negotiated an exclusive three-year deal to use Ford V6 turbo engines and hired Mayer and Alexander to run operations. A change of management at Beatrice resulted in the program being canceled and at the end of 1986 the team was closed. Mayer then joined Roger Penske as vice-president of Penske Racing and deputy chairman of Penske Cars Ltd. in Poole, Dorset. He continued as a consultant to Penske until 2007.