LEC Refrigeration Racing

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LEC
Full name LEC Refrigeration Racing
Founder(s) David Purley
Noted staff Mike Earle
Noted drivers United Kingdom David Purley
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1973 Monaco Grand Prix
Races competed 10 [1]
Engines Cosworth
Race victories 0
Points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
Final race 1977 British Grand Prix

LEC was a Formula One team and constructor from the United Kingdom. They participated in ten Grands Prix, using a March in 1973. In 1977 they built their own car, the LEC CRP1.

Formula One[edit]

1973[edit]

In 1973 David Purley hired a March 731 and with backing from his family's refrigeration company LEC Refrigeration, made a largely unsuccessful attempt at Formula One. Purley and the team made their debut in Monaco where the fuel tank broke. Purley did not make the restart at the British GP after he spun off. It was at the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix, however, where Purley carried out arguably his most memorable actions. Upon witnessing a crash which left fellow British driver Roger Williamson trapped in his overturned and burning car, Purley abandoned his own race and attempted to save Williamson, who was participating in only his second Formula One race. Purley later recalled that upon arriving at the scene, he heard Williamson crying for help as the fire began to take hold. Purley's efforts to right the car and extinguish the flames were in vain as he received no help from nearby track marshals or emergency workers, in spite of attempts to encourage them, and other passing drivers, to come to his aid; Williamson died from asphyxiation. Unfortunately, the marshalls were not wearing fire resistant clothing and the passing drivers believed that Purley was attempting to extinguish his own car, having escaped a fiery crash unharmed; they had no idea that a second driver was involved. The team took their first finish at the German GP. Purley also finished in Italy.

1977[edit]

The surviving LEC CRP1 Formula One car.

LEC racing returned to Formula One in 1977 with their own LEC chassis designed by Mike Pilbeam and run by Mike Earle. It was this car in which he suffered serious injuries in an accident during pre-qualifying for that year's British Grand Prix. He survived an estimated 179.8 g when he decelerated from 173 km/h (108 mph) to 0 in a distance of 66 cm (26 inches) after his throttle got stuck wide open and he hit a wall.[2] For many years, this was thought to be the highest g-force ever survived by a human being.[2] He suffered multiple fractures to his legs, pelvis and ribs.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit]

(key)

Year Chassis Engine Tyres Driver 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1973 March 731 Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G ARG BRA RSA ESP BEL MON SWE FRA GBR NED GER AUT ITA CAN USA
United Kingdom David Purley Ret DNS Ret 15 9
1977 LEC CRP1 Cosworth DFV 3.0 V8 G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 0
United Kingdom David Purley DNQ 13 14 Ret DNPQ

References[edit]

  1. ^ "LEC Formula one results on chicanef1.com". Formula One Results. Retrieved 27 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Anton Sukup (1977). "David PURLEY Silverstone crash". Retrieved July 31, 2006.