McLaren Group chairman and chief executive officer Ron Dennis has been revealed as the winner of the new Issigonis Trophy at the Autocar Stars event in London this evening.
Dennis, who recently made headlines following his return to the day-to-day running of McLaren's Formula 1 team, is the first recipient of the Issigonis Trophy, which has been created by Autocar to recognise outstanding contributions to the automotive industry.
The new accolade, named in honour of legendary car designer Sir Alec Issigonis, will be awarded annually to the person who, in the eyes of Autocar's judging panel, has made a notably significant impact during the previous 12 months.
Dennis has been integral to the success of McLaren's exploits on and off the track for more than three decades, since the racing team was merged with his own Project Four organisation.
Charged with improving the company's performance both on and off the track, Dennis has said he plans to "write an exciting new chapter" in McLaren's history, as well as undertaking a thorough review of the current business.
After receiving the award, Dennis said: "Needless to say the journey that I've been on, committed to motorsport and to McLaren, has actually been the best part of my life. I tried to take it a little easier in 2013 and found in fact I didn't enjoy playing golf or any of the other things I tried to do as much as I enjoy working.
"There are individuals I have met this evening who recently retired or are due to retire who are younger than me. Nothing is further from my mind, but as I think about the future I reflect on the past. It's such an enjoyable journey, I feel privileged to be on it, but I'm under no illusion that, as with every journey, it is the people who are with you who make reaching the destination possible. People such as Gordon Murray, who is here tonight.
"You often hear about people reaching the peak of the mountain, but it is easy to forget those who actually climb with you. Suffice to say, nobody appreciates more than I the people who have been part of that journey which is hopefully going to continue for a few more years. To be recognised somewhere along that journey is a real privilege."
Autocar brand editor Chas Hallett, speaking at the Autocar Stars ceremony, added: "This award is Autocar’s very personal compliment to a man whose accomplishments in motoring are enormous.
"He has built a leading grand prix team, established a successful supercar company, inspired the creation of some of the world’s great buildings, launched a dozen technology businesses and assembled teams of hugely talented and creative people – and he continues to work every day at making them better. He has always been a staunch backer of UK manufacturing industry, about which he remains passionate."
McLaren's P1 hypercar was also honoured as one of a select group of vehicles to achieve a maximum five-star rating in Autocar's road test.