Tony Southgate

Last updated

Tony Southgate (born 25 May 1940, Coventry, England) is a British engineer and former racing car designer. He designed many successful cars, including Jaguar's Le Mans-winning XJR-9, and cars for almost every type of circuit racing. He was responsible for the chassis design of Ford's RS200 Group B rally car. Southgate was employed as chief designer or technical director for many Formula One teams for over twenty years. These teams included BRM, Shadow and Arrows. Southgate retired after producing the Audi R8C, which was a major influence in the Bentley Speed 8, which won Le Mans in 2003. He continues to be a regular visitor to current and historic race meetings.

Contents

Southgate is the only chief engineer to have won the Triple Crown of Motorsport with his cars: Indianapolis 500 with Eagle TG2 in 1968, the Monaco Grand Prix with the BRM P160B and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988 and 1990 with Jaguar XJR-9 and Jaguar XJR-12.

Early career at Lola and Eagle

Tony Southgate became interested in motorsport during his engineering apprenticeship and, like many aspiring racing designers in the late 1950s, was a member of the 750 Motor Club. [1] The 750MC was a training ground for Colin Chapman, Eric Broadley, Brian Hart and others who achieved success in motorsport. In 1962 Broadley gave Southgate his first job, as a draughtsman for Lola Cars. [2] Southgate gained a broad grounding in many areas of motorsport design while at Lola. He was involved in projects as wide-ranging as the lithe, 1.5 litre Lola Mk4A Formula One car and the 5.0 litre Lola T70 [3] [4] sports car. He also assisted with designs for IndyCar chassis, [5] one of which evolved into the Honda RA300 Hondola Formula One race-winner.

It was his experience with single-seater and IndyCar designs which prompted Dan Gurney to hire Southgate for his All American Racers team, based in California, to design some of the second generation of Gurney-Eagle USAC racers. The highlight of Southgate's time with AAR was when Bobby Unser won the 1968 Indianapolis 500 race in one of Southgate's Eagle cars. The Southgate-designed Eagle Formula 5000 car also found some success. [6]

Promotion with BRM

In 1969 Tony Southgate moved back to the UK and took a job as Chief Designer for the BRM Formula One team. Southgate's first BRM car, the BRM P153, [7] appeared in time for the first race of the 1970 season in South Africa. BRM enjoyed a renaissance with the P153 and its successor the BRM P160. The P160, in particular, was highly competitive during the 1971 season; drivers Pedro Rodríguez and Jo Siffert often ran near the front of the field, only for poor reliability to let them down before the finish. Continued development work reaped vast improvements. In the latter half of the season Siffert and Peter Gethin (who had replaced Rodríguez following the latter's death) won back-to-back victories in the Austrian and Italian Grands Prix. Gethin's victory at Monza was taken at an average speed of over 150 mph (240 km/h) and stood as the fastest ever Grand Prix win for over 30 years.

Although the BRM team finished second in the Constructors' Championship standings the end of the season, the achievement was marred by Siffert's death in a non-Championship race at Brands Hatch. Unfortunately for BRM and Tony Southgate his 1972 design, the BRM P180, was not as competitive as the previous model. Siffert's replacement Jean-Pierre Beltoise managed to win a rain-hit Monaco Grand Prix in the older P160, and with it take BRM's final Formula One victory. During the 1972 season BRM and Tony Southgate parted company. BRM finished the season in seventh place.

CanAm and Formula One with Shadow

At the end of 1972 Shadow Racing Cars founder Don Nichols approached Southgate to design a Formula One car for his team to enter in the 1973 World Championship. Shadow had already been involved in the CanAm sportscar series for nearly two years, and with UOP sponsorship Nichols was planning an entrance into Formula One. Southgate designed and built the first Shadow Formula One prototype, the Shadow DN1, in his own garage in Lincolnshire, [8] where he had moved to be closer to the BRM factory in Bourne. However, production was soon shifted to the US, to where Southgate once again relocated.

Drivers George Follmer and Jackie Oliver were immediately competitive in the DN1. In 1974 the Southgate-designed Shadow DN4 earned first and second in the CanAm championship. In the same year Peter Revson died while testing the Shadow DN3 at Kyalami.

Tony Southgate designed the Shadow DN5 for the 1975 Formula One season. The car proved very fast, with Jean-Pierre Jarier and Tom Pryce both winning pole positions during the year, however it had poor reliability, often retiring when in a points scoring position.

Lotus

At the end of 1975 the withdrawal of Shadow's main sponsor UOP prompted Southgate to move to Lotus, where he worked alongside Peter Wright on the Lotus 77 and Lotus 78 until the middle of 1977.

Shadow again and Arrows

After Lotus, Southgate returned to Shadow, but left the team again at the end of 1977 together with Franco Ambrosio, Alan Rees, Jackie Oliver and Dave Wass to form Arrows.

Arrows' first car, the FA1, was almost identical to the Shadow DN9, which Southgate had designed while at Shadow. The FA1 was comfortably leading its second race, the South African Grand Prix, at the hands of Riccardo Patrese, when its engine blew, forcing it to retire. The Shadow team successfully sued Arrows for infringement of its copyrights and the Arrows FA1 was declared illegal in a UK court judgement on 31 July. [9] Southgate had anticipated this and had completed an alternative design dubbed Arrows A1 which was swiftly produced without Arrows missing a race.

Southgate also designed the Arrows A2 and A3, before leaving the team to work as a freelance engineering consultant.

Theodore and Osella

Southgate returned to Formula 1 towards the end of 1980 to design Theodore Racing's TY01 to race in the 1981 season.

When Theodore was merged into Ensign at the end of 1982, Southgate and John Thompson founded a design consultancy named Auto Racing Technology, that worked for Ford on two major projects, including development of the Ford RS200. [10]

In 1983 Southgate designed his last Formula 1 car, the Osella FA1E. The design was severely constrained as Osella Squadra Corse did not have sufficient finances to build an entirely new chassis, forcing Southgate to adapt some parts (gearbox and rear suspension) of the Alfa Romeo 182 of previous year to fit an engine from Alfa Romeo.

Sports cars

After the experience on Can-Am cars with Shadow, Southgate collaborated with Ford in 1982–83. with the goal to improve the C100. Helped by John Thompson, realized the MkII version that raced in last races of 1982, then realized the new Mk III, but in March 1983, Ford cancelled its activity in sports cars, after the first tests made at Paul Ricard Circuit.

After the work on Ford RS200, in 1984 Southgate moved to Tom Walkinshaw Racing, where he headed the design of the Jaguar XJR-9 [11] and XJR-12. These won the World Sportscar Championship three times and the Le Mans 24 hour race twice. The XJR-9 also raced in the North America in the IMSA GT Championship. It won on its debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 1988, and in the final race of the season at Del Mar. [12]

He remained at TWR until 1990. Southgate subsequently worked on sports cars for Toyota (Toyota TS010 1991–93), [13] Ferrari (Ferrari 333 SP 1993–95), [14] Lister, Nissan (Nissan R390 GT1 1996–97) [15] and Audi (Audi R8R and R8C).

Related Research Articles

Lola Cars International Ltd. was a British race car engineering company in operation from 1958 to 2012. The company was founded by Eric Broadley in Huntingdon, England, and endured for more than fifty years to become one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of racing cars in the world. Lola Cars started by building small front-engined sports cars, and branched out into Formula Junior cars before diversifying into a wider range of sporting vehicles. Lola was acquired by Martin Birrane in 1998 after the unsuccessful MasterCard Lola attempt at Formula One.

British Racing Motors Formula One team

British Racing Motors (BRM) was a British Formula One motor racing team. Founded in 1945 and based in the market town of Bourne in Lincolnshire, it participated from 1951 to 1977, competing in 197 grands prix and winning seventeen. BRM won the constructors' title in 1962 when its driver Graham Hill became world champion. In 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1971, BRM came second in the constructors' competition.

Brands Hatch Race track

Brands Hatch Circuit is a motor racing circuit in West Kingsdown, Kent, England, United Kingdom. Originally used as a grasstrack motorcycle circuit on farmland, it hosted 12 runnings of the British Grand Prix between 1964 and 1986 and currently hosts many British and International racing events. The venue is owned and operated by Jonathan Palmer's MotorSport Vision organisation.

Jackie Oliver

Keith Jack "Jackie" Oliver is a British former Formula One driver and team-owner from England. He became known as the founder of the Arrows team as well as a racing driver, although during his driving career he won both the 24 Hours of Le Mans race and the Can-Am championship.

Richard Attwood

Richard James David "Dickie" Attwood is a British motor racing driver, from England. During his career he raced for the BRM, Lotus and Cooper Formula One teams. He competed in 17 World Championship Grands Prix, achieved one podium and scored a total of 11 championship points. He was also a successful sports car racing driver and won the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Porsche 917, the first of Porsche's record 19 victories at the famous race.

Shadow Racing Cars Sports organization

Shadow Racing Cars was a Formula One and sports car racing team, founded and initially based in the United States although later Formula One operations were run from the British base in Northampton. The team held an American licence from 1973 to 1975 and a British licence from 1976 to 1980, thus becoming the first constructor to officially change its nationality. Their only F1 victory, at the 1977 Austrian Grand Prix, was achieved as a British team.

Embassy Racing With Graham Hill, commonly abbreviated to Embassy Hill, was a short-lived Formula One team started by two-time Formula One World Champion Graham Hill. The team debuted in 1973 with a customer Shadow DN1 car, and began racing as a constructor with its own chassis in 1975. The team had limited success in three seasons of racing, but everything was cut short by the death of Hill, Tony Brise and some of the team's top personnel in the crash of a light aircraft in the autumn before the 1976 season. The team was sponsored by Imperial Tobacco's Embassy cigarette brand and ran under various names during its time.

Lotus 49

The Lotus 49 was a Formula One racing car designed by Colin Chapman and Maurice Philippe for the 1967 F1 season. It was designed around the Cosworth DFV engine that would power most of the Formula One grid through the 1970s. It was one of the first F1 cars to use a stressed-member drivetrain to reduce weight, and the first to be widely copied by other teams.

Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) was a motor racing team and engineering firm founded in 1976, in Kidlington, near Oxford, England by touring car racer Tom Walkinshaw.

Rob Walker Racing Team was a privateer team in Formula One during the 1950s and 1960s. Founded by Johnnie Walker heir Rob Walker (1917-2002) in 1953, the team became F1's most successful privateer in history, being the first and only entrant to win a World Championship Formula One Grand Prix without ever building their own car.

Jaguar XJR-14

The Jaguar XJR-14 is a sports-prototype racing car introduced for the 1991 World Sportscar Championship season. It was designed by Ross Brawn and John Piper, and was built and run by Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), on behalf of Jaguar Cars.

1992 World Sportscar Championship

The 1992 Sportscar World Championship season was the 40th and final season of FIA World Sportscar Championship motor racing. It featured the 1992 FIA Sportscar World Championship, which was contested over a six race series which ran from 26 April to 18 October 1992. The championship was open to Group C Sportscars.

Eagle Mk1

The Eagle Mk1, commonly referred to as the Eagle T1G, was a Formula One racing car, designed by Len Terry for Dan Gurney's Anglo American Racers team. The Eagle, introduced for the start of the 1966 Formula One season, is often regarded as being one of the most beautiful Grand Prix cars ever raced at the top levels of international motorsport. Initially appearing with a 2.7L Coventry Climax inline 4-cylinder engine, the car was designed around a 3.0L Gurney-Weslake V12 which was introduced after its first four races. In the hands of team boss Gurney, the Eagle-Weslake won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix, making Dan Gurney only the second driver at the time, and one of only three to date, to win a Formula One Grand Prix in a car of their own construction. That win in Belgium still stands as the only win for a USA-built car as well as one of only two wins of an American-licensed constructor in Formula One.

Formula One sponsorship liveries have been used since the late 1960s, replacing the previously used national colours. With sponsors becoming more important with the rising costs in Formula One, many teams wanted to be able to display the logos of their sponsors as clearly as possible.

Ecurie Bonnier

Ecurie Bonnier, Ecurie Suisse, Joakim Bonnier Racing Team and Anglo-Suisse Racing Team were names used by Swedish racing driver Joakim Bonnier to enter his own cars in Formula One, Formula Two and sports car racing between 1957 and his death in 1972. Commonly the vehicles were entered for Bonnier himself, but he also provided cars for a number of other drivers during the period.

Shadow DN1

The Shadow DN1 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1973 Formula One season and the early stages of the following season. The car was the first Formula One car for Shadow, which had previously participated in the CanAm Sportscar Series. It was designed by former BRM engineer Tony Southgate. The DN1 was also driven by Graham Hill for his privateer team, Embassy Hill.

Shadow DN3

The Shadow DN3 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1974 Formula One season. It also appeared twice during the early stages of the 1975 Formula One season in an updated DN3B form. Designed by former BRM engineer Tony Southgate, the best finish achieved in a DN3 was Jean-Pierre Jarier's third place at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Mike Pilbeam is a British motorsport designer and engineer known for his work with BRM, Lotus, Surtees and his own company, Pilbeam Racing Designs. An early design was the experimental four wheel drive Formula One BRM P67 of 1964. As of 2014, Pilbeam's company continued to produce hillclimb cars and sports prototype chassis for endurance racing.

Shadow DN9

The Shadow DN9 was a Formula One car used by the Shadow team during the 1978 and 1979 Formula One seasons. It is most famous for having been copied by the new Arrows team for their FA1. Arrows, formed by a disgruntled group of Shadow's staffers, were in the end prohibited from using the design.

References

  1. "Famous Members". 750 Motor Club. Archived from the original on 17 October 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  2. Southgate, Tony (2010). From Drawing Board to Chequered Flag. Croydon, UK: Motor Racing Publications. ISBN   978-1-899870-82-0.
  3. Dron, Tony (17 December 2005). "Lola". The Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  4. Owen, Richard. "1967–1969 Lola T70 Mk3 Coupé". Supercars.net. Supercars.net Publishing. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  5. Wagstaff, Ian (2010). The British at Indianapolis. Dorchester, England: Veloce Publishing. pp. 92–95. ISBN   978-1-84584-246-8.
  6. Brown, Allen. "Eagle 68/69 'Mk 5'". oldracingcars.com. Allen Brown. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  7. Jiggle, Mike. "Interview:Tony Southgate, the BRM years". Vintage Racecar Journal, July 2011. Parabolica Publishing LLC. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  8. "People: Tony Southgate". GP Encyclopedia. Inside F1, Inc. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  9. "Nichols Advanced Vehicle Systems Inc & Ors v Rees, Oliver & Ors". 5rb Case Reports. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  10. Morris, Gareth. "RS200 History". The Gareth Morris Web Experience. Archived from the original on 28 July 2002. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  11. "1988 Jaguar XJR-9LM". 1988 Jaguar XJR-9LM. Supercars.net Publishing. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  12. Cracknell, Malcolm. "History – XJR-12 Chassis 1090". dailysportscar archive tour. dailysportscar.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011.
  13. Melissen, Wouter. "Toyota TS010". Ultimatecarpage.com. Ultimatecarpage.com. Retrieved 2 October 2011.
  14. "Ferrari 333 SP". HowStuffWorks. HowStuffWorks Inc. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  15. "Nissan R390 GT1". Japanese Rides. japaneserides.com. Retrieved 3 October 2011.