PEOPLE: RICK GORNE

Name: Rick Gorne
Nationality: Great Britain

Born in the less than glamorous steel town of Scunthorpe in Linolnshire, Rick Gorne started out racing go karts in the mid-1970s and from there graduated to Formula Ford 1600. He did not have much money but wheeled, dealed and borrowed to get into Formula Ford 2000 and raced a car designed and built by a former FF1600 rival Adrian Reynard. He won nine races and in 1979 was able to raise the money to race in Formula Atlantic but his career came to an end when he crashed into a tree at Ingliston that summer.

Deeply in debt, he had to stop racing and work out a way of repaying the money he owed. He went to work for the British Automobile Racing Club and soon became its Competitions Director. This lasted for two years and then a chance meeting with Reynard resulted in Gorne joining the revived Reynard Racing Cars, which has been struggling financially. That year Adrian worked for March in F1 to raise money while Gorne ran the company. Reynard eventually quit F1 and concentrated on designing a new concept Formula Ford 1600 car, while Gorne kept the company afloat by selling 12 cars to the United Arab Emirates, having convinced the government that they would keep the company's fighter pilots happy when they were not flying.

The Reynard 82FF made an astonishing debut at the Formula Ford Festival in 1981. The result was that 50 cars were sold for the 1982 season. Reynard then designed the 83SF for Formula Ford 2000 which proved to be a dominant car and with a string of Formula Ford titles the company turned to Formula 3 in 1985 with a groundbreaking composite chassis. This won first time out in the hands of Andy Wallace and 13 chassis were sold for the following year. Further success and clever marketing boosted sales to 65 cars in 1987.

Reynard then turned its attention to Formula 3000 and in 1988 made a winning debut in the formula with Johnny Herbert. Reynard also won the F3000 title that year and by 1990 Reynard was so successful that it was turning over $15m a year and had won a Queens Award for Export Achievement.

An attempt at F1, however, failed and almost broke the company but Gorne once again managed to save the day by selling 40 Formula 3 cars to Mexico. As Reynard began to recover, the obvious target was CART racing and in 1994, at Surfers Paradise in Australia, Michael Andretti gave Reynard a win on its debut - to maintain a remarkable record. In the years that followed Gorne led the Reynard sales team before being named commercial director of BAR in 1999. In the course of the team's disastrous first season he became operations director but at the end of the year was pushed into a new role, developing a young driver scheme for BAR. Soon afterwards he decided to leave Reynard to work fulltime for BAR and at the start of 2001 quit the team to pursue other businesses in racing, including managing young drivers and although he briefly returned to Reynard to try to save the company he ended up joining rival firm Lola at the start of 2002.

Print