Richard Childress Racing has snapped up British motor racing engineer and designer Mike Coughlan as their new technical director for 2014, the team revealed this weekend.

"This is a great opportunity for me to become involved with a team like Richard Childress Racing," Coughlan said. "This is one of the great teams in NASCAR and their commitment to winning is second-to-none."

"I have known Mike Coughlan for many years and have a tremendous amount of respect for both his personal skills as an engineer and as a leader of people," said Dr Earl Warren, RCR's director of competition. "To be successful in any form of racing, you have to push hard to find performance gains and his experience will strengthen RCR with regards to our competition.

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"He is a tremendous talent and has a rare combination of experience in leading teams and development programs in F1, along with prior experience and exposure to NASCAR," added Warren.

With two decades of experience in the motor sports field which has included spells as chief designer at teams including Arrows, Benetton, Ferrari and McLaren, Coughlan's most recent position was as chief engineer at Williams F1 for two years until his sudden split with the team in July after a disappointing run of results for the team saw him replaced by Pat Symonds.

Before his spell at the Grove-based team, Coughlan had been in the US working with Michael Waltrip Racing helping to reinvigorate their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign for a year and a half, meaning that he's already well versed in the stock car series' technical rules and regulations.

Coughlan will take up the post straight away and work alongside another recent hiring - Director of Race Operations Mark McArdle, who joined the team in August - with both men reporting direct to Dr Warren.

"He's going to bring a lot of design work, engineering work, and we're really proud to have him there," said team owner Richard Childress of Coughlan's appointment. "Couldn't be prouder for Eric Warren going out and putting together the people behind this race team that gives Gil [Martin] and our crew chiefs what they really need to go out and win."

Coughlan - who lost his position at McLaren in 2007 in the fallout from the Ferrari espionage scandal after he was found to be in possession of leaked technical documents from Maranello - said he was delighted to be returning to NASCAR competition for next season and that RCR felt like the ideal place for him to be.

"I feel with the increased technical focus of the Sprint Cup Series and the direction that the sport is moving, it makes a perfect fit for me," he said. "I look forward to helping Eric Warren, and the rest of the team, in bringing more success to the organization through the next few years."