McLaren stalwart Tyler Alexander dies at 75

Thu Jan 7, 2016 5:54pm EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - American Tyler Alexander, who helped Bruce McLaren found the McLaren Formula One team in the 1960s and remained a part of it for more than 40 years, died on Thursday at the age of 75.

"Tyler Alexander was one of the first pillars of our company," said McLaren Group head Ron Dennis in a tribute on the McLaren website.

"Bruce couldn’t have asked for a sturdier pair of shoulders upon which to help build the team’s reputation.

"Tyler was one of the finest of the old school: hardy, humble and wise, leaving a reputation and a legacy that will remain indelible in the history of international motorsport," added Dennis.

Raised in Hingham, Massachusetts, Alexander befriended Pennsylvania lawyer Teddy Mayer, who was involved in motorsport with his racing driver brother Timmy, and then met New Zealander McLaren in England.

After starting out as chief mechanic with McLaren in 1963, Alexander filled a number of roles at the team and ultimately became a director.

Although he left in 1983 to run an IndyCar outfit with Teddy Meyer, who had taken over as F1 team principal after McLaren's death in 1970 and relinquished control to Dennis in 1980, he returned in 1989.

Alexander then worked for the team until 2008 when he retired after attending every race in a season that ended with Britain's Lewis Hamilton taking his first career title with McLaren.

"Quite simply, Tyler lived and breathed McLaren," said Dennis.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)