DRIVERS: BRIAN HART
Name: Brian Hart
Nationality: Great Britain
Date of birth: September 7, 1936 - North London
Hart was trained in airframe and aero-engine design at the De Havilland aircraft company in Hatfield in the late 1950s. The firm had a number of engineers who built and raced their own cars in 750 Motor Club events and Hart was in the thick of it along with the likes of Maurice Philippe, Len Terry and Mike and Frank Costin. In 1958 Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth established Cosworth and Hart, who was racing in Formula Junior, was an early recruit.
In the years that followed he worked as a Cosworth development engineer and raced in Formula Junior and sports car events and in 1963 won a Grovewood Award as promising young driver. He moved up to Formula 2 in 1964 and won an impressive victory at Enna, beating Frank Gardner, Paul Hawkins, Peter Revson, Guy Ligier, Mike Spence, Richie Ginther and others.
He would remain a Formula 2 star until the end of the 1960s, and in 1967 made his one and only start in the Formula 1 World Championship driving a wooden-chassised Protos F2 car at the Nurburgring when F2 cars were run with the main F1 field.
After that Hart went back to F2 and won his last major race for Bob Gerard in the 1969 Rhine Cup at Hockenheim. That year he established Brian Hart Ltd, to service Ford's FVA racing engines. He was soon commissioned to develop Ford products and designed the Ford BDA, which would become the backbone of Ford's rally programmes throughout the 1970s.
Hart's F2 FVA won the European F2 title in 1971 with Ronnie Peterson and this was followed by Mike Hailwood's title with a BDA. After that, however, BMW and Renault came into F2 and Hart decided to build his own engines, which became winners in 1977 and 1978. At the end of 1978 Ted Toleman agreed to fund Hart and the Toleman-Hart combination dominated F2 in 1980. Toleman then commissioned Hart to build him a 1.5-litre turbocharged F1 engine for 1981. Hart turbo engines were used throughout the 1980s in F1 - notably by Ayrton Senna in 1984 - but at the end of 1987 the F1 rules changed and Hart did not have the money to build his own engines.
He therefore joined forces with Cosworth to develop the company's DFZ and DFR engines. In 1992 Hart funded his own V10 engine and announced an exclusive deal to supply Jordan Grand Prix in 1993 and 1994. Hart continued to build F1 engines for customers until 1999 when Tom Walkinshaw bought Brian's company. Hart was by then 63 and decided he had had enough. He retired to a house in rural France.