Lec (Lec Refrigeration Racing)

David Purley had run private teams in the junior formulae under his banner of the Purley family's refrigeration business Lec. In 1976 he commissioned BRM designer Mike Pilbeam to draw him a Formula 1 car for the 1977 season. The car would be run by Purley's crew of friends led by Mike Earle.The chassis was designated the CRP1 and debuted at the Race of Champions where Purley finished sixth. He failed to qualify for the Spanish GP but became a regular F1 runner from Belgium onwards. In qualifying for the British GP, however, the car suffered from a sticking throttle and had a huge crash which left Purley seriously injured.Another car was built in 1979 in preparation for his return to racing after a string of operations. He raced it several times but then announced that he was retiring from serious racing. The Lec team closed down. Purley turned his attention to acrobatic flying and was killed in an accident off the south coast of England in July 1985. Mike Earle and some of the other Lec staff went on to establish the Onyx team which finally entered F1 racing in 1989.