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Ex-F1 engine supplier Brian Hart passes away

Former F1 engine builder Brian Hart passes away at the age of 77 after a long illness
Former F1 engine supplier Brian Hart has died at the age of 77.

Hart, a former racer who proved to be successful on track in the lower formulae of single-seater competition and who had one F1 start to his name, founded his own engine company in 1969.

Initially tuning engines from other manufacturers for British teams in a range of different championships, Hart was approached by Ford to develop engines for use in Formula 2 before the company took on development of its own power unit.

Moving into Formula One with Toleman in 1981, having helped the team to win the F2 title a year earlier Hart initially struggled against larger manufacturers but in 1984, Hart power carried Toleman to three podium finishes with Ayrton Senna – including a second place in Monaco that would prove to be the best race result for a Hart-powered car.

With Hart in its own right leaving F1 after 1986, the company focused on again developing engines from other manufacturers before making a return with Jordan in 1993.

The second year of the partnership yielded a second and final pole position with Rubens Barrichello at Spa, while the last of five podium finishes was secured by Footwork's Gianni Morbidelli in Australia in 1995.

Hart's engine company was bought out by Tom Walkinshaw Racing in 1997, with the founder then leaving TWR in 1999 and quitting F1.

The engine company would ultimately fold when Arrows closed its door in 2002.

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Senna in Toleman

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January 06, 2014 12:36 PM

A few years ago I raced a F1 car with a Hart DFR, I have to say it was remarkable, we took it out of a box (5 years in the box) and bolted it onto the tub, it started 1st time and ticked over, in racing we used 11,500 rpm easily, what an engine? I was told that Brian had a saying " There's a lot of talk about BHP, but it is Torque that wins races" RIP


January 07, 2014 7:38 PM

Brian Hart was a legend in the world of race engines. He used simple and straightforward methods to keep his engines at the forefront in Formula 2 and was a good driver in his own right. - I have memories of him racing in the fog at the old Nurburgring in an F2 car with extremely good results. Anyone who ran a Cosworth FVA 1600cc Formula 2 engine in the 60's knew that he was the man to go to, to get a good reliable rebuild and excellent advice from this methodical, honest man He then went on to achieve greater things on a minimal budget in F1, particularly in the Turbo era with his Monobloc 4 cylinder engine against the big manufacturers. He was from a different era than todays F1! I feel sad at his passing!

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