Rory Byrne

Rory Byrne

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Rory Byrne

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Rory Byrne (born 10 January 1944, Pretoria, South Africa) is a South African engineer and car designer, most famous for being the chief designer at the Benetton and Scuderia Ferrari Formula One teams.

Since joining Ferrari in 1997 Byrne designed cars have won over seventy Grands Prix, seven constructors titles and six drivers titles. This outstanding record of success makes Byrne the most successful Formula One designer of the last decade, narrowly eclipsing rival Adrian Newey.

Early career

Byrne became interested in motor racing at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa, firstly as a competitor and later the technical aspects of the sport. After graduating in 1965 Byrne began working as a chemist but retained his fascination for racing until by the late 1960s he, with three friends Dave Collier, Ronny and Dougie Bennett, set up a company importing performance car parts called Auto Drag and Speed Den situated in Jules Street, Malvern, Johannesburg and later Voortrekker Road in Alberton. It was in this period that he first began to design racing cars, putting to use his mathematical knowledge even though he lacked formal engineering training. His first car, a Formula Ford racer, was competitive and finished well in the 1972 championship.

Following his success in 1972 Byrne relocated to England to pursue a career in racing car design. Purchasing an aging Royale Formula Ford car he began putting together the skills required improve the design and received a...
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