David Richards awarded CBE in Queen's New Year's Honours List January 7, 2005 - Prodrive Group co-founder and Chairman, David Richards, has become a CBE, (Commander of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to motorsport. The ...
David Richards awarded CBE in Queen's New Year's Honours List
January 7, 2005 - Prodrive Group co-founder and Chairman, David Richards, has become a CBE, (Commander of the British Empire) in recognition of his services to motorsport.
The announcement was a part of the Queen's New Year's Honours list made every year in the first week of January. David Richards was the only person in the sports industry to receive a CBE in 2005.
This distinguished accolade is a major highlight of an outstanding career that has seen 52 year old Richards progress from his start as a Championship winning Rally co-driver, to the establishment of Prodrive - a company which has since become one of Europe's fastest growing motor racing engineering and automotive technology companies, with operations spanning the globe.
One of the most recent motor racing highlights for Prodrive saw the company lead the British American Racing (BAR) Formula One team to second place in the 2004 World Championship, after guiding the team to 5th in the 2003 Championship. This remarkable goal was achieved within three years of an intended five year program.
The global growth of the World Rally Championship of recent years can also be attributed to the forward vision of the 2005 CBE recipient, when he acquired the World Rally Championship television and commercial rights in 2000. Since then, he has led the transformation of this Championship into a mainstream sports entertainment package and a highly valuable sports marketing platform.
In Australia, Prodrive is in its fifth year of a highly successful joint venture with Ford Australia, known as Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV). Prodrive leads the design, manufacture and marketing of Ford's range of premium quality high performance cars in this region. Continuing the company's proven link between leading edge automotive technology and front line motorsport competition, Prodrive established the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercar team in 2003, competing in what is widely regarded as the most competitive Touring Car Championship in the world.
Over the past twenty years, Prodrive has become one of the world's largest and most successful motorsport and vehicle technology businesses with a turnover of more than £110 million and employing nearly 1000 staff in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia-Pacific.
Prodrive Motor Racing Profile
Prodrive has won seven World Rally Championship titles, the most recent with Subaru and Petter Solberg in 2003. In circuit racing, Prodrive has won five British Touring Car Championships, most recently in 2000 with Ford Team Mondeo.
Prodrive has been behind the Subaru World Rally Team's rise to fame since 1990 and has helped make Subaru synonymous with rallying, turning it into a respected performance marque around the world. However, Prodrive's rallying history is far more than just Subaru. Over the years, it has won more than 100 international rallies, with other great motorsport names like Porsche, BMW and MG.
In Touring Car racing, Prodrive has worked with BMW, Alfa Romeo, Honda, Ford and Volvo. In 2001 the company entered sports car racing, building and running Ferrari 550 GTS Maranellos in the FIA GT and American Le Mans Championships. In 2002 it competed in the Le Mans 24 Hours leading its class for more than half the race before retiring. In 2005, Prodrive brings the revered Aston Martin marque back to GT Racing with an all new chassis and engine design which is sure to add more victories to the company's profile.
In Formula One, Prodrive entered into a management contract to run the British American Racing (BAR) Formula One team in 2002. By the completion of the 2003 season Prodrive had transformed the team into one of the elite Formula One top five. Better was yet to come in 2004 when Prodrive led the team to second in the World Championship to Scuderia Ferrari, three years into an intended five year project.
The Australian V8 Supercar Championship has also been a part of Prodrive's global motor racing operations over the past two years, with their establishment of Ford Performance Racing in 2003. During this time, the team has raced to one victory and six podium finishes, two second places of which were gained in the world's toughest touring car race, the Bathurst 1000.
Prodrive Automotive Technology Profile
During the 1990s, Prodrive began offering its technical expertise and project engineering skills to the mainstream automotive market. Over the years, this part of the business has grown rapidly to represent more than half the company's turnover.
The company has the capability to take concepts through to full working prototypes and into production in limited numbers. It has particular expertise in the design, calibration and testing of powertrains, vehicle dynamics, control and systems integration, vehicle engineering and manufacture.
Prodrive has its own secure test and development facility near Warwick, UK, and employs more than 400 engineers and technicians around the world.
The automotive technology business provides the main project engineering resource for the company's motorsport teams and still utilises much of the technology proven in competition and applies it to production models.
Aside from the company's high performance vehicle design and manufacturing joint venture with Ford Australia, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV), the Australian and Asia Pacific Rim regions find Prodrive Automotive Technology working with a number of vehicle manufacturers on several innovative projects.
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