Adrian Reynard built his first racing car in 1973 as a student project whilst at British Leyland as a Project Engineer. At that time, his major assets were a passion for design (trained and disciplined by Oxford Polytechnic), and a portable welding kit.
Dr Reynard has created or been closely involved with the design of every Reynard car ever since. He is one of the most successful proprietor engineers in racing car manufacturing and under his leadership Reynard Motorsport grew into one of the leading producers of racing car chassis in the world. Reynard had an outstanding reputation for technical innovation and excellent after sales support.
In 1977 Adrian Reynard took up a full-time position as CEO of Sabre Automotive/Reynard Racing Cars Ltd, and tasted his first success in 1979, when his cars won the European (driven by him personally) and British Formula Ford 2000 Championships. The company also helped pioneer carbon fibre monocoque technologies in the 1980’s.
Reynard’s development strategy was to design a car capable of winning its first race in whichever category the company targeted. When Reynard entered Formula 3 in 1985, it won it’s first race from pole position; in 1988 Reynard won it’s first race and went on to win the international F3000 title at their first attempt. But in March of 1994, Reynard re-wrote the history books when they entered the IndyCar World Series scoring a debut win from the front row of the grid.
Adrian Reynard’s insistence on maintaining a consistent approach to the company’s development programs and to the servicing of its customers enabled the company to achieve sustained success. Reynard designs won the British Formula 3 Championship in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1992; the international F3000 series in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995. In the Formula Atlantic category, Reynard won the 1992 and 1993 Pacific Series.
In 1990, the company was awarded the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement and in 1992 Adrian Reynard was awarded the Sir Henry Royce Gold Medal for Excellence in Engineering. In 1993, Adrian Reynard was elected a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
In 1995 Reynard dominated the PPG IndyCar World Series by winning the Constructor’s Championship, the Driver’s Championship, the Indianapolis 500, and Rookie of the Year – Gil de Ferran was driving a Reynard 95I. This was the company’s second year in Indy Car racing.
In 1996 Reynard won the Motor Industry Association’s Award for Export Achievements for a second time, securing a place in the history books as the first racing car manufacturer to be honoured with this prestigious award twice. The Manufacturing Division achieved ISO 9002 in a record six months.
The success story continued in 1996, 1997,1998,1999, 2000 and 2001. Reynard again dominated the FedEx Championship Series, winning the Constructor’s Championship, the Driver’s Championship and Rookie of the Year titles. 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001. Reynard also dominated the Japanese F3000 Series during this era.
Reynard designed cars also have the distinction of having won the fabled Indianapolis 500 twice.
In 1997, Adrian Reynard was elected a Companion of the Royal Aeronautical Society, in recognition of his company’s pioneering technologies, and today consults as Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Cranfield University.
In 1999 Adrian Reynard was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The Special Projects Division, which was formed in 1996, provided consultancy and commissioned designed and built projects for customers. Projects included the Panoz GT car, Ford Mondeo Touring Car, the Strathcarron SportsCar, the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class lay-flat seat and the Reynard 2KQ-LM Sports Racing Car. This car went on to be a Class Winner in the 2001 Le Mans 24 hr race.
In addition, Reynard was a founding partner in British American Racing, with the principals taking key roles in the management structure of the company. It is with credit to the long association of Reynard with Honda, that Honda are the engine supplier to the British American Racing Formula One team. Dr Reynard’s role of Technical Development Director of British American Racing between 1999 and 2000 was another exciting challenge. After amassing one of the most successful records in motor racing during the 1980s and 1990s, the move to Formula One was “the logical next step”.
In 2000 Adrian was appointed as Visiting Professor in Motorsport Design to Oxford Brookes University.
In 2001, Adrian Reynard was awarded “The Most Outstanding Contribution to the UK Motorsport Industry” by the MIA and elected for the role of MIA Committee Member & Ambassador for the Education and Skills Initiative.
In 2002, Adrian Reynard was awarded the Crompton Lanchester Prize by the IMechE for Outstanding Contribution to Mechanical Engineering in Motorsport in 2001 and Adrian Reynard joined the Society of Automotive Engineers.
On March 18th 2002 Reynard Motorsport Ltd went into receivership as a consequence of a severe drop-off in sales of Champcars for the USA CART market.
Adrian Reynard however bought a controlling interest in the Auto Research Centre LLC previously owned by the company. This is a unique wind tunnel and research facility in Indianapolis serving the major manufacturers and the motor sport industry and has thrived and expanded. The client base includes Honda, GM, Ford and Chrysler as well as many Teams in IRL and NASCAR. The company has forged collaborative links with the Motor Industry Research Association in the UK and is investing in simulation techniques, rapid prototyping, scanning and CFD.
Adrian Reynard sold his shares in BAR F1 Team in February 2005 which was subsequently re-named Honda Racing F1 Team. Honda F1 became Brawn GP for the 2009 season and won both the Drivers Championship with Jenson Button and the Constructors Championship. For 2010 Mercedes GP took over the operation to contest the season with Mchael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg driving. Adrian Reynard continues his participation with the team as landlord of the 15 acre site in Brackley which now encompasses a $50M full-scale moving ground wind tunnel and advanced engine dynamometer cell.