Death of engineer Ron Tauranac
Death of engineer Ron Tauranac, the creator of the Brabhams in Formula 1, passed away this morning in Australia at the age of 95. He leaves behind a significant legacy.
The renowned motorsport designer and engineer, Ron Tauranac, has passed away at 95 years of age.
During his illustrious career, Tauranac’s cars, under the leadership of Sir Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme, claimed two Formula 1 world championships in the 1960s.
The Tauranac family has issued a statement through F1Lead.com announcing the passing of Ron Tauranac at 95 years of age with regret.
Ron Tauranac passed away peacefully in his sleep early Friday morning at his home on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Until the end, Ron remained active, healthy, and self-sufficient, driven by his desire to constantly achieve and always having another goal in sight.
Ron never rested on his accomplishments and constantly kept his engineering mind active and engaged.
“When recently queried about his finest car design, he succinctly replied, ‘the upcoming one.’
“He lived an exceptional life. We are both overwhelmingly proud of his accomplishments and deeply grieved by his passing.”
Tauranac passes away, leaving behind two daughters, Jann and Julie.
Ron Tauranac was born in the United Kingdom in 1925, and his family emigrated to Australia during his childhood.
Ron dropped out of school at 14 and joined the air cadets as a teenager before becoming a member of the RAAF, where he received training as a fighter pilot.
In 1949, Ron left the air force and took up a job as a draughtsman.
Around that time, he discovered motorsports, and along with his brother Austin, built racing cars, naming the company after their initials, Ralt.
Ron met Jack Brabham while competing in hillclimbs in New South Wales, and the two formed a lifelong friendship.
When Brabham moved to Europe, the two stayed in touch, and Tauranac was instrumental in the development of the “low-line” Cooper T53, which helped Brabham win the 1960 Formula 1 World Championship.
In the same year, Tauranac returned to the UK along with his family.
Upon arriving, he and Brabham established Motor Racing Developments and started work on a Formula Junior car.
As time went on, the business grew to encompass the design, construction, racing, and sales of cars across multiple formula categories, including Formula 1 and Formula Ford, all under the “Brabham” brand name.
In 1966, the Brabham “factory” team of Motor Racing Developments, using Tauranac’s design, achieved the Formula 1 World Championship with Jack Brabham behind the wheel.
The next year, Hulme repeated this feat, and the team also won the “International Cup for F1 Manufacturers” (today known as the Constructors’ Championship) in both seasons.
After Brabham’s retirement in 1970, Tauranac took over the management of MRD and the Brabham F1 team, then sold it to Bernie Ecclestone in 1972.
He had brief stints with Trojan and Frank Williams before founding Ralt in 1974.
The RT1 was created for Formula 3, Formula Atlantic, and Formula 2 races, with Larry Perkins securing the first major victory for the brand at the Monza Lotteria in 1975.
Tauranac’s designs became the preferred choice for many up-and-coming young drivers, including Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg, and Ayrton Senna.
Like he did with MRD, Tauranac created cars for a variety of competitions worldwide, putting Ralt at the forefront of customer car production, just as Brabham was in the 1960s.
In 1988, Tauranac sold Ralt to the March Group and reduced his involvement in customer racing.
Later on, Tauranac became involved in several other projects, including Honda and a period as a contractor with the Arrows Formula 1 team in 1997, where he was brought in to address reliability problems.
In his later years, he moved back to Australia and lived in Sydney’s eastern suburbs before relocating to the Sunshine Coast in 2018 to be near his daughter.
He received the Order of Australia in 2002 and was inducted into the Motorsport Australia Hall of Fame in 2017 for his outstanding contributions to design and engineering.
F1Lead.com extends its sympathy to the Tauranac family and all who knew him.
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