JANUARY 26, 2002

Congratulations Ron Tauranac

Ron Tauranac has been recognized by the Australian government for his services to motor racing.

RON TAURANAC has been recognized by the Australian government for his services to motor racing. Tauranac was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia on Australia Day (January 26) for his efforts in "engineering design, construction and production of Formula 1 racing cars, providing young drivers with opportunities to compete at top levels, and sharing knowledge with others for the advancement of the sport".

Tauranac and his brother Austin built their first racing car in Australia in 1946 and called the car a Ralt - the name being formed by a combination of their initials. Tauranac raced these cars against a young Jack Brabham and when Brabham went to Europe, Tauranac stayed in touch, while he worked as an engineer for the Quality Castings company.

In 1960 Brabham invited Tauranac to England to work at his garage in Chessington, fitting Climax engines into Triumph Heralds. In 1961 Brabham and Tauranac decided to build their own racing cars and Tauranac designed the MRD Formula Junior car. The following year the business took off and in the mid 1960s Brabhams were winning in all the major categories including the World Championships in 1966 and 1967. Jack retired in 1970 and sold his share of the company to Tauranac but two years later Tauranac sold the business to Bernie Ecclestone and also went back to Australia. In 1974 he was back in England to establish a company called Ralt to build cars to be raced in Formula 3, Formula Atlantic and Formula 2. By 1977 Ralt was a major force in European racing and the arrival of the Ralt RT3 in 1979 began a period of amazing domination in F3. There was also considerable success in F2 with Honda-engined cars.

In 1988 Tauranac sold the company to March and retired to Australia again but he has remained a valued consultant to Honda's F1 program ever since.