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Cosworth

Overview

What originally began as a racing engine workshop grew into one of the most successful engine manufacturers in history, with driver and manufacturer titles in Formula 1, IRL, Champ Car, WRC and MotoGP. The growth and development of Cosworth to become a group of companies has created a new dimension of market opportunities outside of the motorsport world which originally nurtured the business founded over 50 years ago.  

The classic motorsport era

By the mid 1960s, Cosworth had moved to Northampton where bigger prospects were around the corner. In 1966, Duckworth signed a contract with Ford to develop a new three-litre Formula One engine, and the legendary DFV was born. It got its first taste of victory in 1967, when Jim Clark again provided the maiden victory at the Dutch Grand Prix. The DFV, in subsequent development guises, went on to dominate the sport for 15 years and clinched 155 race wins during that time.

A host of famous names benefited from Costin and Duckworth's approach - Jackie Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt and Nelson Piquet all took championships using Cosworth engines during the 1970s.

During the 1970s Cosworth engines crossed the Atlantic to take the Indy/CART world by storm. There, the DFX version of the F1 powerplant began to take an incredible 151 race wins in a 14-year reign, culminating in ten driver's championships and ten Indianapolis 500 victories.

Out of the 1980's

As the 1980s became the 90s, Cosworth continued to provide winning power, with the Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 taking the 1987 Touring Car world title and the Cosworth-powered Ford Mondeo winning the World titles for Paul Radisich in 1993 and 1994.

In Formula One, the DFV was replaced by the HB which won 11 races between 1989 and 1993, and this was in turn superceded by in 1994 by the Zetec V8 F1 engine which powered Michael Schumacher's first world driver's title in its first year.

The birth of motorsport electronics and the founding of Pi Research (now Cosworth Electronics) heralded the start of a new age in motorsport.

Growth and success

The XB engine burst onto the Indy car scene in 1992 to relaunch Cosworth as a major player and that was the foundation for a family of engines which are still in use today. The XB was a success both on and off the track and sales of this unit led directly to Cosworth being awarded the Queens Award for Export Achievement.

Nigel Mansell's 1993 CART championship and Jacques Villeneuve's 1995 Indy 500 win were both provided by Cosworth power. In rallying, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth notched up numerous wins during the 1990s and the Duratec-R engine in the Focus WRC gave Ford more success.

A partnership was formed with Opel in the mid 1990's which culminated in winning the DTM International Touring Car Championship in 2006. These were heady times for Cosworth who supplied the whole of the newly formed IRL series with the XB engine.

This same period witnessed the spectacular growth of motorsport electronics and the establishment of data recording and analysis as a cornerstone of modern high performance motorsport. The extension of Pi Research systems from their original use as wind tunnel data gathering instrumentation to on-car data acquisition systems was the natural progression - and the Pi Research "Black Box" was born.

Used extensively in the North American IndyCar Championship, the Pi Research Black Box was the first electronic dash display and combined data logger to be used in professional motor sport. The success of the product in allowing teams to analyse performance parameters of the car, engine and chassis, as well as providing clear, accurate information for the driver marked a turning point in race car technology and defined the future for motorsport.

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