LEC Refrigeration Racing

LEC was a UK motor racing team and Formula One constructor based at Bognor Regis, West Sussex. They participated in ten Grands Prix using a March in 1973 and their own car, the LEC CRP1, in 1977.

Full nameLEC Refrigeration Racing
Founder(s)David Purley
Noted staffMike Earle
Noted driversUnited Kingdom David Purley
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1973 Monaco Grand Prix
Races entered10 [1]
Race victories0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
Final entry1977 British Grand Prix

Formula One


In 1973 David Purley hired a March 731 and with backing from his family's refrigeration company LEC Refrigeration, made a largely unsuccessful attempt at Formula One. Purley and the team made their debut in Monaco where the fuel tank broke. Purley did not make the restart at the British GP after he spun off. It was at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, however, where Purley carried out arguably his most memorable actions. Upon witnessing a crash which left fellow British driver Roger Williamson trapped in his overturned and burning car, Purley abandoned his own race and attempted to save Williamson, who was participating in only his second Formula One race. Purley later recalled that upon arriving at the scene, he heard Williamson crying for help as the fire began to take hold. Purley's efforts to right the car and extinguish the flames were in vain as he received no help from nearby track marshals or emergency workers, in spite of attempts to encourage them, and other passing drivers, to come to his aid; Williamson died from asphyxiation. Because the marshalls were not wearing fire resistant clothing and the passing drivers believed that Purley was attempting to extinguish his own car, having escaped a fiery crash unharmed; they had no idea that a second driver was involved. The team took their first finish at the German GP. Purley also finished in Italy.


LEC CRP1 Donington Grand Prix Collection in 2007
LEC CRP1 Formula One car.

LEC racing returned to Formula One in 1977 with their own LEC chassis designed by Mike Pilbeam and run by Mike Earle. It was this car in which Purley suffered serious injuries in an accident during pre-qualifying for that year's British Grand Prix. He survived an estimated 179.8 g when he decelerated from 173 km/h (108 mph) to 0 in a distance of 66 cm (26 inches) after his throttle got stuck wide open and he hit a wall.[2] For many years, this was thought to be the highest g-force ever survived by a human being.[2] He suffered multiple fractures to his legs, pelvis and ribs.

Both LEC CRP1s built, including the car heavily damaged at Silverstone, have been restored and compete in historic Formula One racing.[3]

Complete Formula One World Championship results


Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
United Kingdom David Purley Ret DNS Ret 15 9
United Kingdom David Purley DNQ 13 14 Ret DNPQ


  1. ^ "LEC Formula one results on chicanef1.com". Formula One Results. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b Anton Sukup (1977). "David PURLEY Silverstone crash". Retrieved 31 July 2006.
  3. ^ Brown, Allen. "Lec CRP1 car-by-car histories". oldracingcars.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  4. ^ Small, Steve (1994). The Guinness Complete Grand Prix Who's Who. Guinness. p. 305. ISBN 0851127029.
1972 World Championship Victory Race

The 2nd World Championship Victory Race, formally the John Player Challenge Trophy, was a motor race, run to Formula One rules, held on 22 October 1972 at Brands Hatch, Kent. The race was run over 40 laps of the circuit. Jean-Pierre Beltoise won in his BRM P180. The entry included several Formula 5000 cars.

1973 Formula One season

The 1973 Formula One season was the 27th season of FIA Formula One motor racing. It featured the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, which were contested concurrently over a fifteen-race series that commenced on 28 January and ended on 7 October. There were two new races for the 1973 season – the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos in São Paulo and the Swedish Grand Prix at Anderstorp. The season also included two non-championship races which were open to both Formula One and Formula 5000 cars.

The World Championship of Drivers was won by Jackie Stewart, driving for Elf Team Tyrrell, and the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers by John Player Team Lotus. In the World Championship, Lotus teammates Emerson Fittipaldi and Ronnie Peterson raced each other while Stewart was supported at Tyrrell by François Cevert. Stewart took the Drivers' title at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, but then at the final race of the season, the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen, Cevert crashed during Saturday practice in the notorious 'Esses' and was killed instantly. Stewart and Tyrrell withdrew from the race, handing the Manufacturers' title to Lotus. At the end of the season Stewart made public his decision to retire, a decision that had been made before the US Grand Prix. By the end of the 1973 season the best car on the track was probably the new McLaren M23, a wedge-shaped car following the same concept as the Lotus 72 but with more conventional suspension and up-to-date aerodynamics. The 1973 season marked the debut of future world champion James Hunt at the Monaco Grand Prix driving a privateer March 731 entered by Hesketh Racing.

The 1973 season saw the intervention of a Safety Car in Formula One for the first time, in the form of a Porsche 914 at the Canadian Grand Prix. However, this safety concept would not be officially introduced until twenty years later, in 1993. As well as Cevert, Briton Roger Williamson was also killed during the season, in a crash at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Another change to the rules introduced this season was the cars doing a full warm-up lap before the race. Prior to this, tracks included a dummy grid a short distance behind a grid proper, and the cars would simply move from one to the other to begin the race.

It was also this season that the numbering system for teams was formalised. In the second race of the season in Brazil, team-mates were paired - Lotus drivers 1 and 2; Tyrrell's 3 and 4 and so on - though the numbers assigned to each team still changed for a couple of races until the fifth race, the Belgian Grand Prix, at which the order was set for the rest of the season. For 1974, the numbers were assigned based on finishing positions in the 1973 constructor's championship, after which teams did not change numbers unless they won the drivers' championship (or signed the current world champion), or if a team dropped out.

1973 Swedish Grand Prix

The 1973 Grand Prix of Sweden was a Formula One motor race held at the Scandinavian Raceway, Anderstorp on 17 June 1973. It was race 7 of 15 in both the 1973 World Championship of Drivers and the 1973 International Cup for Formula One Manufacturers. The 80-lap race was won by McLaren driver Denny Hulme after he started from sixth position. Ronnie Peterson finished second for the Lotus team and Tyrrell driver François Cevert came in third.

Ronnie Peterson's success with John Player Team Lotus was the catalyst for a Swedish Grand Prix and the race was held for the first time, at World Championship level, at the grandly-named Scandinavian Raceway in 1973.

1976 Shellsport International Series

The 1976 Shellsport International Series was a Formula Libre motor racing championship held in the United Kingdom, the series ran F1, F2, F5000 and Formula Atlantic cars in the same race. The first Shellsport International Series was contested over 13 rounds. The season started on 21 March and ended on 7 November. The Drivers' Championship was won by Englishman David Purley.

1977 Formula One season

The 1977 Formula One season was the 31st season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing. It featured the 28th World Championship of Drivers and the 20th International Cup for Formula 1 Constructors, which commenced on 9 January 1977, and ended on 23 October after seventeen races. The season also included a single non-championship race for Formula One cars, the 1977 Race of Champions.

Niki Lauda won his second championship, despite Mario Andretti winning more races. Jody Scheckter's Wolf won first time out, Shadow took their only victory, and Gunnar Nilsson achieved the only win of a career ended by cancer. Renault entered Grand Prix racing with a turbocharged car which was initially not very successful. The German ATS team took over the Penske cars and the South African Grand Prix was the last race a BRM ever qualified to start. Lauda departed Ferrari even before the season ended, so did not complete the season, having already sealed the title thanks to his consistent form. Ferrari won its third consecutive Constructors' title with new driver Carlos Reutemann having a solid season.

The season was also marred by one of the most horrific accidents in Formula One history. During the South African GP on 5 March, TV cameras captured how Tom Pryce was unable to avoid 19-year-old race marshall Frederik Jansen van Vuuren. The latter was killed by the terrifying collision, his body was hurled into the air, and his fire extinguisher killed and nearly decapitated Pryce, whose car proceeded to the end of the straight where it collided with Jacques Laffite's Ligier. There was further tragedy as Carlos Pace lost his life in an aviation accident only a couple of weeks after Pryce's accident.

1977 Race of Champions

The XII Race of Champions was a non-championship Formula One race held at Brands Hatch on 20 March 1977. John Watson qualified on pole, while James Hunt set fastest lap and won.

1979 British Formula One Championship

The 1979 British Formula One Championship (formally the 1979 Aurora AFX F1 Championship) was the second season of the British Formula One Championship. It commenced on 1 April 1979 and ended on 7 October after fifteen races. The Drivers' Championship was won by Englishman Rupert Keegan who drove an Arrows A1 entered by Charles Clowes.


Cosworth is a British automotive engineering company founded in London in 1958 (1958), specialising in high-performance internal combustion engines, powertrain, and electronics; for automobile racing (motorsport) and mainstream automotive industries. Cosworth is based in Northampton, England, with American facilities in Indianapolis, Shelby Charter Township, Michigan and Mooresville, North Carolina.

Cosworth has collected 176 wins in Formula One (F1) as engine supplier, ranking third with most wins, behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

David Purley

David Charles Purley, GM (26 January 1945 – 2 July 1985) was a British racing driver born in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, who participated in 11 Formula One World Championship Grands Prix, debuting at Monaco in 1973.

Purley is best known for his actions at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, where he abandoned his own race and attempted to save the life of fellow driver Roger Williamson, whose car was upside down and on fire following a serious accident. Purley was awarded the George Medal for his courage in trying to save Williamson, who suffocated in the blaze.

During pre-qualifying for the 1977 British Grand Prix Purley sustained multiple bone fractures after his car's throttle stuck open and he crashed into a wall. His deceleration from 108 mph (173 km/h) to 0 in a distance of 26 in (66 cm) is one of the highest G-loads survived in a crash. He scored no championship points during his Formula One career. He died in a plane crash, having retired from motorsport and taken up aerobatics, in 1985.

LEC Refrigeration

LEC Refrigeration, known by its full title as Longford Engineering Company Refrigeration, is a British company manufacturing refrigerators and freezers.

March Grand Prix results

The table below details the complete World Championship Grand Prix results for the March Formula One team. The second table includes results from privately owned March cars in World Championship Grands Prix.

2019 season


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