PEOPLE: GARY ANDERSON

Name: Gary Anderson
Nationality: Great Britain

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson 

 © Inside F1, Inc.

From Coleraine in Northern Ireland, Anderson was fascinated by racing from his youth and indulged in more than a little road racing with his mates through the Ulster countryside. Wanting to escape from the political troubles and keen to get into motor racing, he moved to England at 19 with dreams of becoming a racing driver but found work as a mechanic at Motor Racing Stables at Brands Hatch. Soon afterwards he found a job at Brabham, helping to build Formula 3 cars. He was soon on the F1 team - because he was big enough to lift a Cosworth DFV engine by himself. On his free weekends and in the evenings Gary and a fellow mechanic called Bob Simpson (who worked for Tyrrell) built an F3 car called an Anson SA1. It was a much modified Brabham BT38, which they bought piece by piece from Brabham production boss Ron Tauranac.

Anderson's progress within Brabham was rapid. He soon became chief mechanic and began working on design projects with Gordon Murray. At the same time the Anson team acquired a converted bus as a transporter and, with Simpson's sister Jennie as team manager, began competing in Formule Libre races. Anderson even won an event. At the end of 1975 Anson became a family business when the team manager married the designer - and the partners became brothers-in-law.

For 1976 they decided to get serious and Simpson quit Tyrrell and a new SA1 was built. This showed well driven by Dick Parsons and finished third on its debut. At the end of that year Anderson quit Brabham to design the SA2 but sponsorship negotiations failed and after Gary had done a few 1977 races he went back to F1 as chief mechanic at McLaren. He stayed for two years and then joined Mo Nunn's Ensign but the team faded badly after Clay Regazzoni was paralyzed in a crash at Long Beach. Anderson and Simpson decided to relaunch Anson and this time it worked. By 1983 Anson F3 and SuperVee cars were highly competitive, but money remained the problem and two years later Anderson headed for America to become chief engineer of the Galles Indycar team. It was the start of a friendship with Roberto Moreno which, in 1988, saw Anderson become technical director of Bromley Motorsport and win the International F3000 title, using the new Reynard F3000 chassis. Adrian Reynard then hired Gary to be his F3000 designer for the 1989 and 1990 chassis.

It was at this point that Eddie Jordan - Anderson's old enemy from F3 days - asked him to design the first Jordan Grand Prix car. The 7-Up Jordan-Ford 191 was a great success and in 1992 Anderson became technical director of the young team and remained with Jordan - despite offers from McLaren and Ferrari - until just before the first Jordan victory at Spa in 1998 driven by Damon Hill.

Anderson was in negotiation with Arrows and the Penske CART team but eventually signed for Stewart Grand Prix. He joined the team late in 1998 but helped to develop the Stewart-Ford SF3 which won its first race at the European GP in September 1999 driven by Johnny Herbert. He stayed with the team when it became Jaguar Racing at the start of 2000 but the Jaguar R1 was not a success and at the end of the year Anderson was ousted from the team and replaced by Steve Nichols. After a year in the United States working for Reynard in CART, Anderson returned to F1 in a new role with Jordan, working alongside technical director Henri Durand in 2002 and 2003.Since then he has been in semi-retirement, working as a consultant to Dallara and as a commentator with Irish television.

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