Tyler Alexan­der 1940-2016

F1 Racing (UK) - - INSIDER -

F1 mourns the death of the stal­wart who helped build and then hold to­gether the Mclaren team

Tyler Alexan­der, one of the found­ing fa­thers of Mclaren, passed away on 7 Jan­uary, aged 75.

Alexan­der grew up on the At­lantic coast in Hing­ham, Mas­sachusetts, and trained as an air­craft en­gi­neer. This vo­ca­tion in­stilled in him rig­or­ous at­ten­tion to de­tail, but con­ven­tional of­fice rou­tines did not ap­peal and he felt drawn to­wards the arena of mo­tor rac­ing, in which a num­ber of his friends were com­pet­ing at club level.

One friend, John Fields, be­gan rac­ing in na­tional 500cc events in a Cooper-nor­ton, which Alexan­der main­tained for him. It was then that Alexan­der en­coun­tered the gifted young rac­ing driver Timmy Mayer, his el­der brother Teddy, and fu­ture rac­ing mag­nate Roger Penske.

Soon Alexan­der found him­self work­ing for the May­ers, which led to a life-chang­ing trip to Europe in the sum­mer of 1963. Within months the May­ers had joined forces with Bruce Mclaren to found a team, and Alexan­der was per­suaded to stay on af­ter Timmy Mayer’s death as Bruce Mclaren Mo­tor Rac­ing Ltd con­tin­ued to push for­wards.

Over the next 20 years, Alexan­der went from chief me­chanic to di­rec­tor, over­see­ing con­struc­tion of both sin­gle-seater and Can-am cars, tire­lessly criss­cross­ing the At­lantic dur­ing Mclaren’s growth phase when Can-am prize money was un­der­writ­ing F1 de­vel­op­ment, and help­ing keep the team to­gether af­ter Bruce’s death in June 1970.

He left briefly in the early 1980s to form an Indycar team with Teddy Mayer, but was re-re­cruited by Ron Den­nis to bol­ster Mclaren’s en­gi­neer­ing, and re­mained there un­til he re­tired at the end of 2008.

“Tyler was one of the first pil­lars of our com­pany – work­ing hard along­side Bruce from the very ear­li­est days – and Bruce couldn’t have asked for a stur­dier pair of shoul­ders upon which to help build the team’s rep­u­ta­tion,” said Den­nis.

Tyler Alexan­der, de­scribed by Ron Den­nis as “one of the first pil­lars of our com­pany”

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