Ensign Racing

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Ensign
Ensign.gif
Full name Ensign Racing Team
Base Walsall, United Kingdom
Founder(s) Mo Nunn
Noted drivers Switzerland Clay Regazzoni
New Zealand Chris Amon
Switzerland Marc Surer
Belgium Jacky Ickx
Brazil Nelson Piquet
Netherlands Jan Lammers
Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1973 French Grand Prix
Races competed 99
Constructors'
Championships
0 (best finish: 10th, 1977)
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories 0 (best finish: 4th, 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix)
Pole positions 0 (best grid position: 3rd, 1976 Swedish Grand Prix)
Fastest laps 1
Final race 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix

Ensign was a Formula One constructor from Britain. They participated in 133 grands prix, entering a total of 155 cars. Ensign scored 19 championship points and no podium finishes. The best result was a 4th place at the 1981 Brazilian Grand Prix by Marc Surer, who also took fastest lap of the race.

Ensign team was founded by Morris Nunn who also carried out design duties during the first two seasons of the team's existence. Nunn would later go on to be a prominent chief engineer in the American-based Champ Car series, winning championships with drivers Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya in the late 1990s.

Formula One[edit]

An Ensign N177 being raced in a Historic Grand Prix at the Lime Rock Park circuit in 2009.

In 1973 Ensign was promoted to Formula One financed by Rikky von Opel. Their first season was not successful with von Opel only finishing three races. The team's best result that season was 13th at the British Grand Prix. Ensign kept Rikky von Opel for 1974, but he left after the first race of the season to retire from racing and later moving to the Brabham team. Vern Schuppan replaced von Opel. Schuppan only finished at the Belgian Grand Prix and later that season he was replaced by Mike Wilds. Wilds only qualified in America; he finished the race but was not classified.

For 1975 Ensign was sponsored by HB Bewaking (a Dutch company) leading them to sign Dutch drivers. Roelof Wunderink and Gijs van Lennep. Wunderink did not have much of success qualifying for three races and finishing one. Gijs van Lennep qualified for all his races and took sixth place in Germany, securing the first points for Ensign in Formula One. Chris Amon also raced for the team in Austria and Italy finishing 12th both times. In 1976 Chris Amon stayed with Ensign having great qualifying results. He qualifying third in Sweden and sixth in Britain but only took points in Spain where he finished in fifth place. Patrick Nève replaced Amon in France and Hans Binder replaced Amon in Austria. Jacky Ickx would race the rest of the season for Ensign.

In 1977 Clay Regazzoni raced for Ensign, scoring five points with best finishes of fifth in Italy and America. In 1978 the team entered cars for Danny Ongais and Lamberto Leoni, but Ongais left after two races and Leoni after four races. Jacky Ickx would race the next four races. Derek Daly would race the rest of the season scoring a point in Canada. Also in 1978 Nelson Piquet made his debut in Formula 1 at the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring driving the Ensign. In 1979 Daly stayed with Ensign but he left after the Monaco Grand Prix and was replaced by Patrick Gaillard. Gaillard only qualified at two out of five races and was replaced by Marc Surer for the final three races of the season.

The N180 at the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

In 1980 Clay Regazzoni again joined Ensign but at Long Beach Regazzoni's brake pedal broke causing him to go straight on at the Queen's Hairpin crashing in the parked car of Ricardo Zunino leaving him paralyzed. Tiff Needell raced in Belgium, but failed to qualify for the Monaco Grand Prix. Jan Lammers raced the rest of the season.

Marc Surer raced for Ensign in 1981 and finished in a sensational fourth place in Brazil where he also took fastest lap of the race. Surer also finished sixth in Monaco. Eliseo Salazar replaced Surer from Spain onwards. Salazar finished sixth in the Netherlands. In 1982 Roberto Guerrero raced for Ensign. He only finished in two races. After the 1982 season, Ensign was merged into the Theodore team, which it had previous ties to via financier Teddy Yip and took that team's name. During many seasons, the connection between Ensign and Theodore was so great that in some years they used almost the same car, much as Red Bull Racing has a second but separate team, Toro Rosso, in more recent times.

Ensign driver Roberto Guerrero continued on with the newly merged team for 1983, as did the team's main car designer.[1] The Theodore F1 team did not last the 1983 season, though, and shut down late in the year.[1]

Complete World Championship Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1973 Ensign N173 Ford V8 F ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA 0 NC
Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel 15 13 DNS Ret Ret NC Ret
1974 Ensign N174 Ford V8 F ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA CAN USA 0 NC
Liechtenstein Rikky von Opel DNS
Australia Vern Schuppan 15 Ret DSQ DSQ DNQ DNQ Ret
United Kingdom Mike Wilds DNQ DNQ DNQ NC
1975 Ensign N174
Ensign N175
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP MON BEL SWE NED FRA GBR GER AUT ITA USA 1 12th
Netherlands Roelof Wunderink Ret DNQ DNQ NC DNQ Ret
Netherlands Gijs van Lennep 10 15 6
New Zealand Chris Amon 12 12
1976 Ensign N174
Ensign N176
Ford V8 G BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA JPN 2 12th
New Zealand Chris Amon 14 8 5 Ret 13 Ret Ret Ret
Belgium Patrick Nève 18
Austria Hans Binder Ret
Belgium Jacky Ickx Ret 10 13 Ret
1977 Ensign N177 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 10* 10th*
Switzerland Clay Regazzoni 6 Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret 7 7 DNQ Ret Ret Ret 5 5 Ret Ret
Belgium Jacky Ickx 10
1978 Ensign N177 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 1 13th
United States Danny Ongais Ret Ret
Italy Lamberto Leoni Ret DNS DNQ DNQ
Belgium Jacky Ickx Ret 12 Ret DNQ
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly DNQ Ret DSQ Ret 10 8 6
Brazil Nelson Piquet Ret
United States Brett Lunger 13
1979 Ensign N177
Ensign N179
Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 0 NC
Republic of Ireland Derek Daly 11 13 DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ
France Patrick Gaillard DNQ 13 DNQ Ret DNQ
Switzerland Marc Surer DNQ DNQ Ret
1980 Ensign N180 Ford V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 0 NC
Switzerland Clay Regazzoni NC Ret 9 Ret
United Kingdom Tiff Needell Ret DNQ
Netherlands Jan Lammers DNQ DNQ 14 DNQ DNQ DNQ 12 Ret
United Kingdom Geoff Lees Ret DNQ
1981 Ensign N180B Ford V8 M
A
USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 5 11th
Switzerland Marc Surer Ret 4 Ret 9 11 6
Chile Eliseo Salazar 14 Ret DNQ NC Ret 6 Ret Ret NC
1982 Ensign N180B
Ensign N181
Ford V8 P RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 0 NC
Colombia Roberto Guerrero DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ Ret Ret DNQ Ret DNQ 8 Ret Ret NC DNS

* Includes five points scored by Patrick Tambay in an Ensign N177 entered by Theodore Racing (see below).

Results of other Ensign cars[edit]

(key) (Results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
1977 Theodore Racing Hong Kong Ensign N177 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN
France Patrick Tambay Ret 6 Ret 5 Ret DNQ 5 Ret
1978 Mario Deliotti Racing Ensign N175 Ford Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN
United Kingdom Geoff Lees DNQ
Sachs Racing Ensign N177 Austria Harald Ertl 11 Ret DNPQ DNPQ

References[edit]