PEOPLE: RICHARD DIVILA
Name: Richard Divila
Educated at Sao Paulo Polytechnic, Divila began working with the Fittipaldi brothers' Fitti-Kart company in 1967 and stayed with the Brazilians when they came to Europe. In 1975 he designed the first Fittipaldi F1 chassis - the futuristic FD01. The following year he designed the FD04 and its arrival coincided with Emerson Fittipaldi's decision to quit McLaren. Divila stayed with the Fittipaldis until the team folded in 1979. There followed two years as a consultant in Formula 2, Indycars and sports-prototypes.
In 1985 Divila began working in F3000, moving from PMC to Eddie Jordan and then First Racing. He designed a Formula 1 car for First but the team failed to raise the money needed. At the start of 1989, however, he joined Ligier. The result was the hurriedly-produced Ligier-Ford JS33B in 1990 and the Lamborghini-engined JS35 in 1991. Guy Ligier, however, had hired Frank Dernie to be his new technical director in an effort to get a big name to keep Renault as his engine supplier in 1992 happy and when the JS35 was not immediately competitive Divila was fired. He worked briefly with Fondmetal before joining Minardi to work with Christian Fittipaldi in 1992.
He went on to work with Dominique Delestre's Apomatox F3000 team and did freelance design work with Courage for the Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1995 he worked with Nissan in touring car racing and for the DAMS F3000 team but has concentrated on touring car racing in Japan in recent years, enjoying considerable success with Nissan.