Peter Elleray

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Peter Elleray
Born (1958-06-30) 30 June 1958 (age 59)
Nationality British
Alma mater Collingwood College, Durham [1]
Occupation Chief designer at Racing Technology Norfolk. (1998-2003),
currently Design and Development Consultant[2]
Known for 24 Hours of Le Mans and Formula One race car designer

Peter Elleray (born 30 June 1958) is an English engineer and race car designer particularly known for designing the Bentley Speed 8 race car.[3][4] Elleray, who worked for Racing Technologies Norfolk (RTN), also designed the Audi R8C and the British Radical SR9.[5] On September 14, 2007, his involvement was announced in the design of the WF01-Zytek for Embassy Racing,[5] which had a best finish of 4th in its LMP2 category at the 1000 km of Nürburgring during the 2008 Le Mans Series season.[6]


Elleray attended Hutton Grammar School before earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics from Durham University in 1979.[7] After spending several years in the aerospace field, Elleray took a job with Tyrrell Racing in 1982 analyzing ground effect tunnels. In 1983 and 1984, he was involved with amateur racing teams before being employed as a designer and race engineer by Arrows F1. In 1999, he became Chief Designer for Bentley's prototype program.[7]

Designing the Bentley Speed 8[edit]

According to Elleray, he had the basic ideas for the Bentley Speed 8 even before launching the design work in August 2001 with Gene Varnier, the assistant chief designer on the project.[8] By 2003, the vehicle had evolved to accommodate a change from Dunlop tires to Michelin tires and also to adapt the front diffuser to the doored-coupe design.[8] The Los Angeles Times praised Elleray's design as exhibiting a "kind of inexpressible British flair and beauty."[9] The car received the Autosport Racing Car of the Year Award for 2003, the first non-F1 car for 14 years to win the award, breaking Ferrari's streak.[10][11]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Car and Driver". 49. Ziff-Davis. 2003: 131. The man behind the new Speed 8 — actually, all four generations of the car — is RTN chief designer Peter Elleray. A proper English engineer with a degree from the University of Durham, Elleray designed the first prototype Speed 8 in 2000. 
  4. ^ Fuller, Michael J. (2004). "Peter Elleray on the Bentley LMGTP". Retrieved 2009-05-15. I was employed as a design and race engineer. 
  5. ^ a b "Embassy's Grand Plan". 2007-09-14. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  6. ^ "1000km of Nürburgring Timing" (PDF). Le Mans Series. 2008-08-16. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  7. ^ a b Fuller, Michael J. (2004). "Peter Elleray on the Bentley LMGTP". Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  8. ^ a b Lis, Alan (2003). "Peter Elleray & Gene Varnier - On The 2003 Bentley Speed 8". Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  9. ^ Neil, Dan (2003-12-17). "Leader of the track: VW put its power behind Bentley at Le Mans". Los Angeles Times. p. G.1. Retrieved 2009-05-15. ...a British car, designed by RTN chief designer Peter Elleray, with a kind of inexpressible British flair and beauty. 
  10. ^ "Le Mans Bentley wins AUTOSPORT Award". Autosport. December 8, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  11. ^ "Racing Car: Bentley Speed 8". Autosport. December 8, 2003. Retrieved 2009-05-15.