David Richards (motorsport official)

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David Richards

David Pender Richards CBE (born June 3, 1952 ) is a British motorsport official. He is the founder and chairman of Prodrive Ltd. , former team boss of BAR and Benetton in Formula 1 as well as co-owner and head of the board of directors of Aston Martin .



Richards came into contact with motorsport at the age of 15 as a spectator at the RAC rally . At 16 he took part in rallies as a co-driver and won the British National Road Rallying Championship in his first year . After training in accounting , in 1976 he accepted an offer from British Leyland as rally co-driver for works driver Tony Pond . In 1979 he switched to Ford and won the world championship alongside Ari Vatanen in 1981 .


At the end of 1981, Richards ended his active career, founded the consultancy firm David Richards Autosport and worked for Rothmans , March and Porsche , among others . In 1984 he competed with his first own racing team in the Middle Eastern Rally Championship , in which he raced a Porsche 911 and was sponsored by Rothmans.

In 1985, Richards reorganized his team, renamed it Prodrive and entered the World Rally Championship. First he used Metro 6R4 , after the end of the Group B cars, he switched to BMW M3 . Bernard Béguin took the team's first victory in a Prodrive BMW at the 1987 Corsica Rally . Prodrive was also successful in the British Touring Car Championship with Frank Sytner and won the championship with an M3 in 1988.

In 1989, Prodrive took over building the Subaru rally project . The new team was again sponsored by Rothmans. Colin McRae won the British Open Rally Championship in 1991 and 1992 and Richard Burns in 1993 . McRae won the 1995 drivers 'championship and Subaru won the manufacturers' title three times from 1995 to 1997.

Since 2005 Prodrive has been building the racing version of the Aston Martin DB9 , the DBR9 , for the FIA GT Championship .

formula 1

In 1997, in addition to his chairmanship at Prodrive, Richards took over as the successor to the dismissed Flavio Briatore, the position of team manager at the Benetton Formula 1 team. At the end of 1998, he left the team after disagreements with the Benetton family. In 1999 he sold 49% of Prodrive to the investment company Apax Partners and used the proceeds to acquire the marketing rights to the World Rally Championship from Bernie Ecclestone . At the end of 2001, after Craig Pollock had left the team, Richards became team boss of BAR and was instrumental in building the team, but was replaced by Nick Fry at the end of 2004 at the instigation of engine partner Honda . Richards then focused with Prodrive on Aston Martin's sports car operations with the DBR9 . From the 2008 season , Richards planned to return to Formula 1 with Prodrive F1 , but gave up the project for the time being in November 2007 because of a legal dispute over the team's enrollment.



  • Alan Henry: Driven Man: David Richards, Prodrive, and the Race to Win. Motorbooks International, 2005, ISBN 0760321752 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. heise.de : Racing fan takes over Aston Martin - David Richards brings Aston Martin back to England , March 13, 2007
  2. ARD.de : Prodrive will be the twelfth team in Formula 1 in 2008 ( Memento from September 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), April 28, 2006
  3. motorsport-total.com: No Prodrive start in 2008 , November 22, 2007
  4. BBC Sport: Recognition for motorsport guru , December 31, 2004