A new UK hall of fame for motorsport’s great and good has opened its doors for the first time – with McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis among the inductees.
The inaugural event, billed as “an exclusive club for the greatest, fastest and most influential figures in the sport”, took place at The Roundhouse in Camden, London yesterday evening. The project is backed by Motorsport magazine and you can learn more about it here.
Dennis, who many in the industry feel is overdue more substantial recognition from the honours system than the CBE he has already received, joined 1950s grand prix winner Tony Brooks, sports car legend Jacky Ickx and 1978 Formula 1 world champion Mario Andretti as the first entrants.
The event was also attended by Sir Stirling Moss and three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
Dennis received his award from TAG Heuer managing director Antoine Pin and Pink Floyd drummer and motorsport aficionado Nick Mason.
He said: “People often ask me to list the highlights of my long career in motor racing. Well, by coincidence, I started in F1 in 1966, working for Cooper, the same year as McLaren first competed in a grand prix.
“It’s a little-known fact that, since then, more than 100 F1 teams have come and gone; and, of the teams that were around in 1966, only McLaren and Ferrari have remained. I guess that’s a highlight, and a source of great pride.”
He said that the company’s success had also been a source of great pride, for both himself and everyone who works for McLaren.
“Of the 665 grands prix we’ve competed in, we’ve won 164 of them, which is 25 per cent, and we’ve been on the podium in 352 of them, which is 53 per cent. So those are the highlights, I think.
“But, even more than that perhaps, my passion throughout my 44-year Formula 1 career has been to do all I can to help make this sport as fantastic as it can possibly be.
“In that context, I’m honoured to have been inducted into the Motorsport Hall of Fame alongside some of the great names of our sport, and am confident that our sport’s future can and will be every bit as glorious as its past.”