Reynard Motorsport

Reynard Motorsport was at one time the world's largest racing car manufacturer. Initially based at Bicester and latterly at Reynard Park, Brackley, England the company built successful cars in Formula Ford 1600, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Vauxhall Lotus, Formula Three, Formula 3000 and Indy Car.

Reynard Motorsport Logo


Reynard FF83 of Neil Richardson
The Reynard FF83 was Reynard's 1983 Formula Ford model

Founded by Adrian Reynard in 1973 as Sabre Automotive Ltd, the company built on its success in lower formulae (particularly Formula Ford and its variants; Reynard himself was a top driver in Formula Ford 2000 in the late seventies) to progress in March 1994 to Champ Car racing and collaborate with British American Racing from 1999 in the design of its early Formula One cars. Adrian Reynard formed a very effective working partnership with friend and Formula Ford rival Rick Gorne, who looked after the sales and commercial side of the business. Gorne was one of the first people to bring a commercial mindset to the sale of racing cars - he worked out pricing models for cars and spares (basing this on research into how often cars were damaged) and started "networking" with young drivers early in their careers so that they would be favourably disposed towards Reynard later.

Reynard acquired a reputation for being a marque whose cars won in their first race - they achieved this on their debuts in Formula Ford 1600, Formula Ford 2000, Formula Three (1985), Formula Atlantic, Formula 3000 (1988) and Indy car (1994). Reynard effectively wiped March, Lola and Ralt out of Formula 3000 and Lola out of Indy Car - Lola recovered by securing the one-make contract for F3000 and reviving themselves in Indy Car in the late 1990s. Reynard were also involved with various special projects; the first competition versions of the Panoz Esperante, the Dodge Stratus touring car, the highly successful Dodge Viper GTS-R GT car and an unraced and highly innovative LNG gas-turbine powered hybrid sports prototype for Chrysler known as the Patriot. Naturally given Reynard's involvement with BAR there were high expectations for the team's F1 debut, which were not met.

Reynard's success in F3 was transitory, with Dallara and a revived Ralt obliterating them from the market in 1992; Adrian Reynard sought to buy Ralt but the company ended up in the hands of March. Their success in ChampCar and F3000 was more lasting, though.

Villeneuve 500
Jacques Villeneuve's Reynard IndyCar chassis which won the Indianapolis 500.

Even when individual chassis programmes did not work out for Reynard, Gorne usually managed to make a profit - the 1985 Formula Ford car was a disaster, so the entire programme was sold on for a one-make series behind the Iron Curtain. Reynard acquired various other lucrative contracts for one-make racing series over the years, as well as achieving numerical domination in many open-chassis formulae; the Formula Vauxhall (or Opel) Lotus single seaters of the late 1980s were designed and manufactured for several years by Reynard (picking up on the firm's spare capacity after Formula Ford 2000 died out).

Outside motorsport, in the 1990s the company became involved in a project to build lightweight carbon-fibre seats for Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline. The deal came about through friendship between Reynard and Branson. The joint-venture company that built manufactured these seats was located at Reynard HQ in Brackley.

As a result of its success the company was awarded the Queen's Awards for Export Achievement in 1990 and 1996.

The company started preparing a Formula 1 program in 1989, to debut in 1992. Engineers were hired, such as Rory Byrne from Benetton. In 1991, Reynard was not able to push through, so the entire program, including the Enstone factory, was sold to Benetton. Reynard's research data was sold to Ligier. Some Reynard components (mostly F3000-based) were used by Keith Wiggins' Pacific Racing in their unsuccessful F1 car (built for the 1993 season, but not raced until 1994 for budgetary reasons). It is unlikely that the putative 1992 Reynard would have been a significant success even had the money been available to develop it - the only works engine the team could obtain was the Yamaha unit that subsequently gave Jordan Grand Prix so much trouble that year. Reynard was also involved in the construction of the DAMS GD-01 car, which never raced due to the DAMS team deciding not to enter the championship.[1]

Toward the late 1990s Reynard was primarily involved in Champ Car, Formula Nippon and Barber Dodge racing series. The company also engineered sports and touring cars.

The success in Champ Car was highly profitable and led the company to diversify. In 1999 Reynard purchased Gemini Transmissions and US racing car manufacturer Riley & Scott. The company also opened an R&D facility in Indianapolis called the Auto Research Center (ARC) under the guidance of Bruce Ashmore. This facility soon came to house a 50% scale wind tunnel and seven post shaker rig. Adrian Reynard is still involved with ARC.

Jacques Villeneuve 1999 Canada
The BAR 01, co-designed by Reynard

Adrian Reynard and his chief designer Malcolm Oastler became involved with the BAR F1 team, with Reynard Motorsport providing some design services to the F1 outfit.

Reynard worked in partnership with West Surrey Racing to design and build Ford Mondeo chassis for the British Touring Car Championship from 1996 to 1998. WSR was running the works Ford programme, and ran the race team while Reynard handled the technical side. The project was well funded by Ford, but had only limited success throughout its three-season stint with the Mondeo.[2]


Following an aborted IPO on the NYSE and the costly purchase of Riley & Scott, the company was bankrupted in February 2002. Around 120 jobs were lost.

In 2002 the assets were distributed among three buyers. BAR acquired the buildings at Brackley and the Advantage CFD aerodynamics engineering business. International Racing Management of Guildford acquired the Formula Nippon and sports car racing operations, with the sports cars being licensed Zytek Engineering for construction. Walker Racing, a team in the Champ Car World Series, acquired the rights to the Champ Car chassis. Finally, Walker Racing sold these package to a business man in Ecuador, Alex Salazar, who tried to recreate a series in Ecuador, without success. He is the final owner of the package.

Derivatives of the Reynard 2KQ and its 01Q upgraded continued to be race and later upgraded by teams such as ProTran and Nasamax. The unfinished Reynard 02S became hugely successful when RN Motorsport took over the car as a DBA4 03S, followed by Zytek offering a variant termed the 04S, while Creation Autosportif offered their own variant known as the CA06/H, which continues to race today.

The Grand Prix Masters car is essentially a development of the last generation of Reynard Champ Car chassis, although fitted with slightly different bodywork and a larger normally aspirated Cosworth V8 engine.

Adrian Reynard commented, "It is the worst day of my business life and in the history of the company. Reynard has had so much success over the last three decades and I'm devastated that it has ended this way, but we had no choice."[3]

Some senior employees went on to start up new motorsport businesses, notably Simon Dowson with Delta Motorsport, Kieron Salter with KW Motorsport and Sales Manager James Linton took over Swift Racing Cars. KWM supplied a range of engineering consultancy services in Champ Car and Le Mans Series including the design of the Nasamax, Protran and Creation Autosportif chassis that are based on Reynard's original products. Delta Motorsport were responsible for the design and construction of the Grand Prix Masters chassis.


Reynard Fury after 2nd place Malta Grand Prix 2017
Reynard's Fisher Fury after 2nd place in the Malta Grand Prix 2017
Reynard inverter silverstone test
The new Reynard car being tested at Silverstone.

Reynard purchased a Fisher Fury in the early 2000s to better understand 750 bike-engined club racing and raced the Fury in mainly BRDA races. After much R&D with the 997cc Fisher he went on to design the Inverter. In 2009 engineering director Andre Brown announced that the Reynard Racing Cars brand would return with a road-legal sportscar. The Reynard Inverter is aimed at British club racing scene where Reynard originally started. It became available in ready-built or in kit form and was Reynard's first road legal car. The car was designed to give Formula One levels of downforce.[4]


  1. ^ Collins, Sam (2007). "DAMS GD-01". Unraced...Formula One's lost cars. Veloce Publishing. pp. 7–15. ISBN 978-1-84584-084-6.
  2. ^ "SuperTouring Facts - SuperTouringCars". Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Reynard forced into receivership". BBC Sport. 1 April 2002. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Vehicle engineering consultant Adrian Reynard. Motorsport engineer, race car manufacturer and Professor of Engineering". Retrieved 4 November 2016.

External links

1985 British Formula Three Championship

The 1985 British Formula Three Championship was the 35th season of the British Formula Three Championship. Maurício Gugelmin took the BARC/BRDC Marlboro British Formula 3 Championship.

Formula Three witnessed three major changes in 1985; in an attempt to eliminate ground effects, flat-bottomed cars became mandatory; the cancellation of the FIA European Formula Three Championship; and the arrival of Reynard Motorsport, giving Ralt the real rival for the first time since March Engineering stop building F3 cars after the 1981 season. Using a revolutionary carbon-fibre monocoque, a first for F3, Reynard manufacturer cars at the same pace as Ralt, but Adrian Reynard had a knack of producing cars that won on their race debut. The Reynard 853 kept that record going, when Andy Wallace won the opening race of the season. With no European series, the national series across Europe were greatly strengthen, notably the British, French and Italian.

Reynard driver, Russell Spence led at the mid-season break with 55 pts., from Andy Wallace on 50, Maurício Gugelmin, the first Ralt on 41 and Tim Davies with another Reynard on 34.

Ralt drivers later took over: Gerrit van Kouwan won three races after the break and notched up 40 pts.; Dave Scott won twice, scoring 36 pts. Gugelmin’s Ralt was sorted by West Surrey Racing’s Dick Bennetts and with two races remaining, he held narrow two points lead in the title race on 66 pts., from both Spence and Wallace, tied on 64pts. All the momentum was with the man from Joinville, Brazil, and Gugelmin won both these easily to win the Championship.

Adrian Reynard

Adrian Reynard (born 23 March 1951 in Welwyn, England) was the founder of Reynard Motorsport, which was a successful racing car manufacturer before it went bankrupt in 2002.

As a student, Reynard was keenly interested in motorsport, particularly in the production of record-breaking motorcycles. He attended Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University) and then Cranfield University - in place of the strain gauge he had been expected to present as a final-year project he turned up for his viva voce examination in Mechanical Engineering with a brand new self-designed Formula Ford chassis (which he had to disguise as a Formula Three as he was sponsored by a rival car manufacturer) on a trailer. At Cranfield Reynard was a classmate of Pat Symonds. Teaming up with the experienced mechanic Bill Stone, Reynard set up Sabre Automotive which later became Reynard Motorsport. Reynard's cars were originally built so he could go racing himself; he was successful in Formula Ford and Formula Ford 2000 but the company he built rapidly became successful in many other formulae.

Adrian Reynard had several brushes with Formula One early in his career—he was commissioned to design a Hawke Formula One car for Rupert Keegan in the mid-1970s (this was not seen through—Reynard had never designed a monocoque before), and later became Chief Engineer for RAM-March in 1982 when the team was struggling with overweight copies of the Williams FW07. He claims to have engineered the cars to the state they should have been in at the start of the 1981 season, but little was achieved. While Reynard was undertaking these contracts, other hands continued to run his firm.

A Reynard F1 project went sour in 1991 and took the company to the brink of bankruptcy—Reynard had to sell many of his personal assets—but the firm fought back, continuing to dominate Formula 3000 until it became a single-chassis formula at the end of the 1995 season and entering Champ Car very successfully in 1994. Overly ambitious attempts to expand the company (and, possibly, Adrian Reynard's increasing involvement with British American Racing) led to financial difficulties.

Oxford Brookes university made up for Reynard's lack of a degree by awarding him an honorary doctorate. Adrian Reynard maintains his links with Cranfield University where he is Visiting Professor and serves on the advisory panel for the MSc Motorsport Engineering and Management. He makes an annual award for the best motorsport thesis project at Cranfield.

He received the Queen's Awards for Export Achievement in 1990 and 1996. Currently, Reynard has signed up to join the "Founders" of Virgin Galactic, an elite group of civilians who will be among the first people to ride into space for a price.

Reynard has recently partnered with Andre Brown to relaunch Reynard Racing Cars with a new street legal trackday/race car.

In February 2009, he was linked with Richard Branson's Virgin Group, regarding a takeover of the Honda Racing F1 Team.

Reynard continues to work as a consultant on particular engineering topics within his vehicle engineering skill set. He is also the Chairman of the Auto Research Centre, which has its world headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

Reynard was hired by Ginetta Cars to develop the aerodynamics for their 2018 LMP1 racecar.

BAR 002

The BAR 002 was the car with which the British American Racing Formula One team competed in the 2000 Formula One season. It was driven by the 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve, and Brazilian Ricardo Zonta, both drivers in their second year with the team.

The car proved a reassuringly competent runner after the 1999 disaster; the team's début season in which it embarrassingly failed to score any points. Villeneuve scored seven points finishes, whilst Zonta backed him up with three. However, the number two driver was dropped at the end of the year to make way for Olivier Panis, who had spent the season as McLaren's test driver.

The year also marked the inaugural season of a Honda engine supply, a partnership which would eventually lead to the team being bought out by the Japanese company for the 2006 season.

The team eventually finished fifth in the Constructors' Championship, with 20 points. This tally was equal to the Benetton team, but Giancarlo Fisichella's podium finishes ensured that the Anglo-Italian team stayed ahead.

BAR 004

The BAR 004 was the car with which the British American Racing team competed in the 2002 Formula One season. It was driven by Jacques Villeneuve and Olivier Panis. The BAR 004 was the first-ever BAR car to be fully designed by British American Racing after 3-year alliance with Reynard Motorsport.

During the season the car was unreliable having a dismal start which saw the team fail to score a single championship point during the first half of the season. Also Olivier Panis failed to finish the first seven races. The team scored their first points when they finished fourth and fifth at the 2002 British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Eventually the team finished eighth in the Constructors' Championship with seven points. Panis then left the team at the end of the year to drive for Toyota Racing, being replaced for 2003 by Jenson Button, who spent the 2002 season driving for Renault.

BAR 01

The BAR 01 was the car with which the British American Racing Formula One team used to compete in the 1999 Formula One season, its inaugural year in the series after purchasing Tyrrell. It was driven by Jacques Villeneuve, the 1997 Champion who had left Williams in order to work with Team Principal Craig Pollock, his manager and good friend. The second driver was Ricardo Zonta, the 1997 Formula 3000 champion and 1998 FIA GT champion, although Mika Salo would deputise early in the season after the Brazilian injured his ankle at Interlagos.

However, despite the driving pedrigree of Villeneuve and Zonta, and the technical experience of Reynard Motorsports, the year was a disaster and a major disappointment for the team, especially after Adrian Reynard aimed to secure the pole position and race victory in its first race. The cars were usually quite competitive and looked like points-scoring contenders on several occasions (Villeneuve at one point, had briefly run third during the Spanish Grand Prix), but reliability was terrible, with Villeneuve alone failing to finish the first eleven races of the season. The end result was last in the Constructors' Championship with no points, behind much smaller teams such as Minardi, Arrows and Sauber.


Birrana was the name of two motor racing organisations, both associated with South Australian racing driver and engineer Malcolm Ramsay. From 1971 to 1978 Birrana constructed a series of successful open-wheel racing cars as well as a Holden V8 touring car. Ramsay brought the Birrana name back to motor racing in the 1990s running a series of Reynard Motorsport built Formula 3000 chassis in the Australian Drivers' Championship. Birrana came to dominate the championship winning titles with Jason Bright, Paul Stokell, Rick Kelly and Simon Wills as well as giving Mark Webber his first racing experience of wings and slicks open-wheeler racing. As Formula Holden started to wither, Birrana moved into V8 Supercar with Wills. Ramsay reduced his involvement as the team morphed into Team Dynamik. Today Ramsay continues the Birrana name as a mechanical engineering firm servicing the mining industry.

Bruce Ashmore

Bruce Ashmore (born c. 1959 in Cambridge, England) is a race car designer who designed and developed 11 championship winning IndyCars with two different race car manufacturers, first with Lola Cars and then with Reynard Motorsports.

After graduating from Cambridge Technical University he started working for Lola Cars in Huntingdon, England. During his seventeen years with Lola he worked his way up from intern to chief designer. Bruce was a member of the design team for many race car projects and was the chief designer on the T8800, T8900, T9000, T9100, & T9200 Lola IndyCars.

Then, in 1993 Ashmore joined Reynard Motorsports to begin work on their first Indycar. Within two years Reynard overtook Lola to become the leading Indycar chassis manufacturer.

Bruce's role with Reynard Motorsport took him to the United States, where he set up Reynard North America (RNA) and later built the Auto Research Center (ARC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. ARC became the Reynard North American Headquarters. Between 1993 and 1998, he served as Technical Director for RNA and later also for ARC and then in 1999 became president of RNA.

Ashmore joined Forysthe Championship Racing CART team in 2001. After two successful years with the team where he planned the Championship title bid in 2003 he left at the end of 2002 to start Ashmore Design. Ashmore Design has had contracts with Menard Competition Technologies, Menard Engineering, RuSPORT Champ Car team, Conquest Racing and more recently with C&R Racing Incorporated. Ashmore helped Chris Paulsen design the C&R Racing United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown race car.

Chrysler Patriot

The Chrysler Patriot was a turbine-electric hybrid sports-prototype racing car utilizing flywheel energy storage, built by Reynard Motorsport and SatCon Technology Corporation for Chrysler in 1993 as a concept car but with the express intent of winning the Le Mans 24 Hour Race.

Chrysler Viper GTS-R

The Chrysler Viper GTS-R (also known as the Dodge Viper GTS-R when raced in North America) was a successful racing variant of the Dodge Viper developed in conjunction with Chrysler of North America, Oreca of France, and Reynard Motorsport of the United Kingdom. Officially unveiled at the 1995 Pebble Beach Concours, it has won numerous championships and famous events in its history. Some chassis are still in use today.


The DAMS GD-01 was an unraced Formula One car used by the French motorsport team, Driot-Arnoux Motor Sport (DAMS). The GD-01 was designed and built by a collaboration of DAMS and Reynard engineers from 1994 to 1995, and was intended to establish the team—which had achieved considerable success in lower categories—in Formula One (F1), the premier Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)-sanctioned level of racing. However, due to insufficient financial backing, the team never entered the championship, despite completing construction of the chassis and conducting limited testing.

Diane Holl

Diane Holl (born 6 May 1964) is a British engineer who has worked in Formula One, Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART), and NASCAR. She is employed at the Hendrick Motorsports NASCAR team as director of vehicle engineering.

The only woman to graduate from a class of 65 in mechanical engineering at the University of South West in Plymouth, Holl interned at Reynard Motorsport and March Engineering before moving to the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team to work as a chassis design engineer under the supervision of John Barnard. In 1996, she became the first woman race engineer to win a CART motor race and engineered Tony Kanaan to the 1998 Rookie of the Year. Holl was employed by McLaren from 2001 and later Michael Waltrip Racing from 2008 to 2015.

Formula Chrysler Euroseries

The Formula Chrysler Euroseries was an open wheel racing series based in Europe. It ran only in 2001.

Lechner Spyder SC91

The Lechner Spyder SC91 was a sports prototype racing car, originally built by Reynard Motorsport for Walter Lechner and his Walter Lechner Racing School Interserie team in 1991. The car was rebuilt as the Reynard Spyder in 1993, and became known as the Reynard Horag in 1997. Throughout its career, it used a Formula 1-derived 3.5-litre Judd V10 engine. One car was built, and it proved successful; taking the Interserie Division I title in 1997 and 1998, in addition to being the strongest non-Porsche 962 in 1991, and the strongest non-Kremer CK7 Spyder in 1993.

List of Reynard Motorsport cars

This is a list of cars produced by Reynard Motorsports.

Reynard (disambiguation)

Reynard the Fox is a literary cycle of allegorical French, Dutch, English and German fables concerned with Reynard, an anthropomorphic red fox and trickster figure.

Reynard may also refer to:

Reynard Motorsport, a former British race car chassis manufacturer

HMS Reynard, or HMS Renard, ten ships of the Royal Navy

Renard (Stravinsky), one-act opera by Igor Stravinsky (spelled either way)

Reynard 02S

The Reynard 02S was a Le Mans Prototype race car built by Reynard Motorsport in 2002. Intended to replace the failed Reynard 2KQ prototype, the 02S would end up becoming the final new design from Reynard as the company went bankrupt prior to the project's completion.

International Racing Management bought the rights to the 02S project and would complete the car under the name DBA4 03S. In 2004, Zytek would be tasked with building more chassis, which would be sold under the name Zytek 04S before being upgraded to the Zytek 06S. A further alternative was created by Creation Autosportif in 2006, named the Creation CA06/H. Some of the chassis continue to be used, although they have been extensively modified from the original Reynard designs.

Reynard 94I

The Reynard 94I was an open-wheel racing car designed and built by Reynard Racing Cars that competed in the 1994 and 1995 IndyCar seasons, notable for winning the first CART race it entered. The car continued to be raced in the 1996 and 1996-97 Indy Racing League seasons, and holds the unofficial and official lap records at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Reynard 98A

The Reynard 98A was a Formula 1 car built by Reynard Motorsports for British American Racing. It never raced.

Swift Cooper

Swift Cooper is a British race car constructor. The company was formed in 1986, when Frank Bradley bought the rights to the Swift name from Swift Engineering, and set up the company at Snetterton race course in Norfolk. Swift Cooper builds cars for Formula Ford regulations.

Swift cars won in the British Formula Ford Championship from 1993 to 1995 and the Benelux Formula Ford Championship from 1996 to 1998.

In late 1995, the company was purchased from Brian Holmes by ex-Formula 3 racer Gavin Wills and ex-Reynard Motorsport sales manager, James Linton, who he had originally met fourteen years earlier as a teenager racing karts. The two moved the manufacturing operation and the race team from its Chesterfield, Yorkshire, base to Plymouth, Devon and employed a team of 21 people to design, manufacture and service the Formula Ford single-seater race cars they produced. Over a period of three years (1996, 1997 & 1998) the company manufactured 75 cars for race teams around the world and won 27 championships worldwide.

1996 Formula Ford Zetec Championship wins






British Class B1997 Formula Ford Zetec Championship wins




British Class B

Clients included Formula One champions Jody Scheckter and Alan Jones who purchased cars for their sons Tomas Scheckter, Toby Scheckter and Christian Jones to compete in South African and Australian Formula Ford Championships respectively.

In 1998 the company moved to its new and present home at the Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire and was sold to Alan Cooper to become Swift Cooper.

A Swift car won the Finnish Championship in 1999.

The first car under the new company name, the SC2000Z, was driven by Ollie Kaurala in the 2000 Championship.

2019 season


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