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Eddie Grice
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Did anyone else catch, How to Go Faster and Influence People: The Gordon Murray F1 Story on BBC4 at 23.50 last night.
If not I suggest you catch up on the iPlayer. I'm not sure if this was a first showing or repeat, certainly new to me.
Eddie
 

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Tony Condon
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3,044 Posts
Hi Guys
Yes a good programme about a fantastic car designer
After gordon had done the forward to my book ,I made an appointment to go and see him at his factory at guildford to give him a book ,and thank him fo rhis help
He was good enought to spend about an hour just chatting ,and as this was at the start of the 2009 F1 season ,I asked whether he felt any regret about ross brawn having a car on the grid with his name on the nose .
He said he didn,t Miss F! at all ,much preferring his current projects which he believed gave much more scope to free thinkers like him
he finished by saying that i would believe the amount of money he had turned down to return to F1,wouldn,t elaborate ,but 20 years after he designed his last F1 car he was still much in demand

cheers tony
 

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Russell Sheldon
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2,855 Posts
Probably hardly ever heard of in their home country, Gordon Murray and ex-Ferrari Technical Director, Rory Byrne, are the two most successful South Africans to have devoted their careers to Formula One.

Here's a brief history of Gordon Murray's career:-

Born in 1946, Murray grew up in Durban, South Africa. His father was a motorcycle racer and later prepared racing cars. Murray studied mechanical engineering at Natal Technical College (now Durban University of Technology). He built and raced his own car, the IGM Ford, in South Africa during 1967 and 1968.

In 1968 Gordon Murray bought a ticket on a ship to Britain, hoping to get a job at Lotus Cars with whom he had been corresponding. In the end however he found work as a missile designer at Hawker Siddeley, before a chance meeting led to him being offered a job by Ron Tauranac as a design draughtsman at Brabham. For the next three years he learned the trade from Tauranac and after the team was taken over by Bernie Ecclestone, assisted Ralph Bellamy.

At the end of 1972 Ecclestone appointed Murray as chief designer and told him to design a competitive car. The result was the Brabham BT42, which was driven by Carlos Reutemann and Wilson Fittiapldi in 1973. The design was further developed the following year into the Brabham BT44, in which Reutemann won three Grands Prix. Reutemann and Carlos Pace drove BT44Bs in 1975 and both drivers won a GP and scored other good results to move the team to second in the Constructors' World Championship.

Murray was convinced that in order to improve aerodynamics the team needed a flat-12 engine and Ecclestone struck a deal with Alfa Romeo. Murray designed the new BT45 which was low and wide but failed to deliver any major results and by the middle of 1976 Reutemann left the team. The car was revised for the 1977 season and while the car had been improved, the Alfa Romeo engines were never very reliable.

For the 1978 season Murray produced the new BT46. The first version of the car featured surface cooling which did not work. This was then followed by the BT46B, which has become known as "the Brabham fan car". It featured a large fan at the rear of the engine which sucked air from under the car through a radiator, providing cooling for the engine and at the same time creating downforce. In the hands of Niki Lauda the car won the Swedish GP, but was later banned by the FIA. The cars were modified again and with the fan removed, Lauda won the Italian GP. The team finished the year third in the Constructors' Championship.

As ground-effect technology developed, it became clear that a new engine was required because of the need for underbody aerodynamics at the rear of the car. Alfa Romeo designed a new V12 engine for Murray's next offering, the BT48. The car was not very successful, although Lauda won the non-championship Dino Ferrari Grand Prix at Imola. Murray then hurriedly designed a replacement - the BT49 - using Cosworth engines. The car appeared for the first time at the end of 1979 and was developed for the 1980 season, when Nelson Piquet became a frontrunner and won three GPs. In 1981 Piquet scored another three wins and consistent finishes resulted in winning the World Championship.

For 1982, Brabham had a deal to run BMW turbo engines and Murray designed the BT50, which won the Canadian GP. Murray's next design was the BT52, which enjoyed much success in the hands of Piquet and Riccardo Patrese, taking the Brazilian to the World Championship. This was developed into the BT53 for 1984 and while Piquet was still able to win with the car, it was unreliable. The development of the BMW engines continued with the BT54 in 1985, but the team's decision to use Pirelli tyres was not a good one, although Piquet had one GP victory.

Murray's last Brabham was the BT55, a another radical design which needed BMW to build engines which were tilted over to one side. This resulted in the car being very low and it soon became known as the 'skateboard' Brabham. In the middle of the 1986 season Elio de Angelis was killed testing one of the cars and at the end of that year, Murray decided he had had enough of F1 and joined McLaren, where he was responsible for the McLaren F1 GTR sports car - although led the design team which produced the 1988 Honda-powered McLaren MP4/4, which won 15 of the 16 Grands Prix and gave Ayrton Senna his first Drivers' Championship. Murray continued to work for McLaren until early 2005, when he decided to pursue an independent career.

Kind regards,

Russell
 

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QUOTE (gasowder @ 11 Jul 2012, 10:53) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Did anyone else catch, How to Go Faster and Influence People: The Gordon Murray F1 Story on BBC4 at 23.50 last night.
If not I suggest you catch up on the iPlayer. I'm not sure if this was a first showing or repeat, certainly new to me.
Eddie

Thanks for posting this or I would of missed this very interesting programme, what a genius !
 
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