By 1981 the ground effects cars were so efficient and so fast that the drivers were suffering from the tremendous g-forces involved in cornering and braking. The Brabham team were the first to circumvent the rules using hydropneumatic suspension systems which compressed under aerodynamic loading and this had the side effect of rendering the car without any sort of suspension, causing the driver to be buffeted even more than before. However, the gains were such that other teams were soon following suit - although most had difficulty in replicating the Brabham system. The earlier Lotus 86 had been designed at the time when skirts were still legal, in the layout as the 88. The performance gains were relatively small but significant over conventional ground effects cars, when the skirts were banned, Wright studied the car and its performance without skirts. The loss in performance was negligible, so the 88 was quickly designed as a re-engineered 86. The 88 used a system of having a twin chassis.
The inner chassis would hold the cockpit and would be independently sprung from the outer one, the car was powered by the Ford Cosworth DFV engine. Lotus drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis reported the car was pleasing to drive and responsive, the FIA upheld the protests and consequently banned the car from competing. Chapman was adamant the car was legal and challenged the teams and the FIA at every turn. It got to the point where if the Lotus 88 was entered in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, chapman was forced to update two of his Lotus 87 chassis as replacements for his thwarted brainchild. The Lotus 88 therefore remains a curiosity from an age of F1. Some of the 88s aerodynamics and layout were worked into the successful Lotus 91 which followed in 1982, * Includes points scored by the Lotus 81 and Lotus 87. Lotus 78 Brabham BT46B Lotus 88 article at www. f1technical. net
The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend, which is typically the last weekend in May and it is contested as part of the Verizon IndyCar Series, the top level of American Championship Car racing, an open-wheel formula colloquially known as Indy Car Racing. The name of the race is often shortened to Indy 500, the event, billed as The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, is considered part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, which comprises three of the most prestigious motorsports events in the world. The official attendance is not disclosed by Speedway management, but the permanent seating capacity is upwards of 250,000, the inaugural running was won by Ray Harroun in 1911. The race celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2011, and the 100th running was held in 2016, alexander Rossi is the defending champion. The most successful drivers are A. J. Foyt, Al Unser, the active driver with the most victories is Hélio Castroneves, with three.
Rick Mears holds the record for most career pole positions with six, the most successful car owner is Roger Penske, owner of Team Penske, which has 16 total wins and 17 poles. For a list of races and winners, see List of Indianapolis 500 winners, the Indianapolis 500 is held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a 2.5 mile oval circuit. Drivers race 200 laps, counterclockwise around the circuit, for a distance of 500 miles, since its inception in 1911, the race has always been scheduled on or around Memorial Day. Since 1974, the race has been scheduled for the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend and time trials are held in the two weeks leading up to the race. Traditionally, the field consists of 33 starters, aligned in a grid of eleven rows of three cars apiece. The event is contested by Indy cars, a formula of professional-level, single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel, as of 2015, all entrants utilize 2.2 L V6, twin-turbocharged engines, tuned to produce a range of 550–700 horsepower. Chevrolet and Honda are the current engine manufacturers involved in the sport, which has a deep history in the sport, dating back to the first 500, is the exclusive tire provider.
The race is the most prestigious event of the IndyCar calendar and it has been avouched to be the largest single-day sporting event in the entire world. Likewise, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself is regarded as the worlds largest sporting facility in terms of capacity, the total purse exceeded $13 million in 2011, with over $2.5 million awarded to the winner, making it one of the richest cash prize funds in sports. Due to safety issues, the race is not held in wet conditions, in the event of a rain delay, the race will be postponed until rain showers cease, and the track is sufficiently dried. If rain falls during the race, officials can end the race, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway complex was built in 1909 as a gravel-and-tar track and hosted a smattering of small events, including ones for motorcycles. The first long distance event, in conditions, was the 100-lap Prest-O-Lite Trophy in 1909
Aerodynamics, from Greek ἀήρ aer + δυναμική, the study of the motion of air, particularly its interaction with a solid object, such as an airplane wing. Aerodynamics is a sub-field of fluid dynamics and gas dynamics, the term aerodynamics is often used synonymously with gas dynamics, the difference being that gas dynamics applies to the study of the motion of all gases, and is not limited to air. The formal study of aerodynamics began in the sense in the eighteenth century. Most of the efforts in aerodynamics were directed toward achieving heavier-than-air flight. Recent work in aerodynamics has focused on issues related to flow, turbulence. Fundamental concepts of continuum and pressure gradients appear in the work of Aristotle, in 1726, Sir Isaac Newton became the first person to develop a theory of air resistance, making him one of the first aerodynamicists. In 1757, Leonhard Euler published the more general Euler equations which could be applied to both compressible and incompressible flows, the Euler equations were extended to incorporate the effects of viscosity in the first half of the 1800s, resulting in the Navier-Stokes equations.
The Navier-Stokes equations are the most general governing equations of fluid flow, in 1871, Francis Herbert Wenham constructed the first wind tunnel, allowing precise measurements of aerodynamic forces. Drag theories were developed by Jean le Rond dAlembert, Gustav Kirchhoff, in 1889, Charles Renard, a French aeronautical engineer, became the first person to reasonably predict the power needed for sustained flight. Otto Lilienthal, the first person to become successful with glider flights, was the first to propose thin, curved airfoils that would produce high lift. Building on these developments as well as carried out in their own wind tunnel. During the time of the first flights, Frederick W. Lanchester, Martin Wilhelm Kutta and Zhukovsky went on to develop a two-dimensional wing theory. Expanding upon the work of Lanchester, Ludwig Prandtl is credited with developing the mathematics behind thin-airfoil, as aircraft speed increased, designers began to encounter challenges associated with air compressibility at speeds near or greater than the speed of sound.
The differences in air flows under such conditions leds to problems in control, increased drag due to shock waves. The ratio of the speed to the speed of sound was named the Mach number after Ernst Mach who was one of the first to investigate the properties of supersonic flow. Theodore von Kármán and Hugh Latimer Dryden introduced the term transonic to describe flow speeds around Mach 1 where drag increases rapidly, by the time the sound barrier was broken, aerodynamicists understanding of the subsonic and low supersonic flow had matured. The Cold War prompted the design of an line of high performance aircraft. Understanding the motion of air around an object enables the calculation of forces, in many aerodynamics problems, the forces of interest are the fundamental forces of flight, drag and weight
Monocoque, structural skin, is a structural system where loads are supported through an objects external skin, similar to an egg shell. The word monocoque is a French term for single shell or single hull, a true monocoque carries both tensile and compressive forces within the skin and can be recognised by the absence of a load carrying internal frame. By contrast, a semi-monocoque is a combining a tensile stressed skin. Other semi-monocoques not to be confused with true monocoques include vehicle unibodies, which tend to be composites, early aircraft were constructed using frames, typically of wood or steel tubing, which could be covered with fabric such as irish linen or cotton. The skin added nothing to the strength of the airframe and was dead weight beyond providing a smooth sealed surface. This reduced drag so effectively it was able to win most of the races it was entered into, however, it was prone to damage from moisture and delamination. While all metal aircraft from the Junkers firm had appeared as early as 1915, the first metal monocoques were built by Claudius Dornier, while working for Zeppelin-Lindau.
After failed attempts with several large flying boats in which a few components were monocoques, the aluminum alloy monocoque chassis was first used in the 1962 Lotus 25 Formula 1 race car. The term monocoque is frequently misused when referring to unibody cars, in motor racing, the safety of the driver depends on the car body which must meet stringent regulations and a few cars have been built with monocoque structures. Tanks and other armored vehicles such as the German Fuchs 2 and this reduces weight for a given amount of armor compared to vehicles to which armor has been attached to an underlying frame. A monocoque-framed motorcycle was developed by the Spanish motorcycle manufacturer, Ossa won four Grand Prix races with the monocoque bike before their rider was killed during the 1970 Isle of Man TT, causing the Ossa factory to withdraw from Grand Prix competition. Notable designers such as Eric Offenstadt and Dan Hanebrink created unique monocoque designs in the early 1970s, the 1973 Isle of Man TT was won by Peter Williams on the monocoque-framed Norton John Player Special that he helped design.
Honda experimented with a monocoque Grand Prix racing motorcycle named the NR500 in 1979, in 1987 John Britten developed the Aero-D One, featuring a composite monocoque chassis that weighed only 12 kg. The first time an aluminium monocoque frame appeared on a production motorcycle was the 2000 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-12R. This was Kawasakis flagship production sportbike aimed at being the fastest production motorcycle, various rockets have used pressure-stabilized monocoque designs, such as Atlas and Falcon 1. Balloon tanks are not true monocoques but act in the way as inflatable shells. A balloon tank skin only handles tensile forces while compression is resisted by internal pressure in a way similar to semi-monocoques braced by a solid frame. This becomes obvious when internal pressure is lost and the structure collapses, the Handle is an electric guitar characterized by its hollow sectioned monocoque chassis, created by the award-winning designer Peter Solomon
Formula One is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de lAutomobile. The FIA Formula One World Championship has been the form of racing since the inaugural season in 1950. The formula, designated in the name, refers to a set of rules, the F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held worldwide on purpose-built F1 circuits and public roads. The results of each race are evaluated using a system to determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers, one for constructors. The racing drivers are required to be holders of valid Super Licences, the races are required to be held on tracks graded 1, the highest grade a track can receive by the FIA. Most events are held in locations on purpose-built tracks, but there are several events in city centres throughout the world. Formula One cars are the fastest road racing cars in the world. Formula One cars race at speeds of up to approximately 375 km/h with engines currently limited in performance to a maximum of 15,000 RPM, the cars are capable of lateral acceleration in excess of five g in corners.
The performance of the cars is very dependent on electronics – although traction control and other driving aids have been banned since 2008 – and on aerodynamics, the formula has radically evolved and changed through the history of the sport. F1 had a global television audience of 425 million people during the course of the 2014 season. Grand Prix racing began in 1906 and became the most popular internationally in the second half of the twentieth century. The Formula One Group is the holder of the commercial rights. Its high profile and popularity have created a major merchandising environment, since 2000 the sports spiraling expenditures and the distribution of prize money favoring established top teams have forced complaints from smaller teams and led several teams to bankruptcy. On 23 January 2017 it was confirmed that Liberty Media had completed its $8 billion acquisition of Delta Topco, the Formula One series originated with the European Grand Prix Motor Racing of the 1920s and 1930s.
The formula is a set of rules that all cars must meet. Formula One was a new formula agreed upon after World War II during 1946, the first world championship race was held at Silverstone, United Kingdom in 1950. A championship for constructors followed in 1958, national championships existed in South Africa and the UK in the 1960s and 1970s. Non-championship Formula One events were held for years, but due to the increasing cost of competition
Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE was an influential English design engineer and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars. In 1952 he founded the car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances he is remembered for, subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors titles, six Drivers Championships, the production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the decline of the 1970s. Chapman suffered a heart attack in 1982, aged 54. Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London, joined the University of London Air Squadron, Chapman left UCL without a degree in 1948, resitting his final Mathematics paper in 1949 and obtaining his degree a year late.
He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission, after a couple of false starts Chapman joined the British Aluminium company, using his civil engineering skills to attempt to sell aluminium as a viable structural material for buildings. In 1948, Chapman designed the Mk1, a modified Austin 7 and he named the car Lotus, he never confirmed the reason but one theories is that it was after his girlfriend Hazel, whom he nicknamed Lotus blossom. With prize money he developed the Lotus Mk2, with continuing success on through the Lotus 6, he began to sell kits of these cars. Over 100 were sold through 1956, along with John Cooper, he revolutionised the premier motor sport. Their small, lightweight mid-engined vehicles gave away much in terms of power, with driver Jim Clark at the wheel of his race cars, Team Lotus appeared as though they could win whenever they pleased. With Clark driving the Lotus 25, Team Lotus won its first F1 World Championship in 1963 and it was Clark, driving a Lotus 38 at the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, who drove the first ever mid-engined car to victory at the Brickyard.
Clark and Chapman became particularly close and Clarks death in 1968 devastated Chapman, among a number of automotive figures who have been Lotus employees over the years were Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, founders of Cosworth. Graham Hill worked at Lotus as a mechanic as a means of earning drives and it was Chapman who in 1966 persuaded the Ford Motor Company to sponsor Cosworths development of what would become the DFV race engine. Many of Chapmans ideas can still be seen in Formula One and he pioneered the use of struts as a rear suspension device. Chapmans next major innovation was popularising monocoque chassis construction within automobile racing, the technique resulted in a body that was both lighter and stronger, and provided better driver protection in the event of a crash
Rufus Parnell Parnelli Jones, is a retired American racing driver and race car owner. He is most remembered for his accomplishments at the Indianapolis 500, in 1962, he became the first driver to qualify over 150 mph. He won the race in 1963, broke down while leading the 1967 race with three laps to go in a turbine car. He is remembered for bringing the stock engine to USAC Sprint car racing as one of the Chevy Twins with Jim Hurtubise. He is associated with the famous Boss 302 Mustang with his wins using the engine in the 1970s, Jones son P. J. Jones was a diverse driver, with IndyCar and NASCAR starts and a championship in IMSA prototype sports cars. His other son Page Jones was a driver before suffering career ending injuries in a sprint car at the 4-Crown Nationals. Following the death of 1960 Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann, Jones is now the oldest living 500 winner, Jones family moved to Torrance, where he grew up. He was nicknamed Parnelli by his boyhood friend Billy Calder, who hoped that the Jones family would not discover their son was racing cars as a 17-year-old minor, Jones participated in his first race in a Jalopy race at Carrell Speedway in Gardena, California.
He developed his skills by racing in many different classes in the 1950s. His first major championship was the Midwest region Sprint car title in 1960, the title caught the attention of promoter J. C. He began racing at Indianapolis in 1961, Jones was named the 1961 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, an honor that he shared with Bobby Marshman. Jones led early in the race and ran among the leaders until being hit in the face with a stone, bloodying his face, blurring his vision and slowing him to a 12th-place finish. In 1962, he was the first driver to qualify over 150 mph at the Indianapolis 500, Jones dominated the first two-thirds of the race until a brake line failure slowed him, and he settled for a seventh-place finish. In the 1963 Indianapolis 500, he started on the pole and this was the year the controversial Lotus-Ford rear-engined cars made their first appearance, and had ruffled the Indianapolis establishment. With Scotsman Jim Clark in a Lotus-Ford closing on Jones in the waning laps, at that moment, driver Eddie Sachs crashed on the oil-slickened racing surface and brought out a yellow caution flag, slowing the field.
Agajanian, Jones car owner, argued with chief steward Harlan Fengler not to issue a black flag, insisting the oil level had dropped below the level of the crack, and that the leak had stopped. As Agajanian pleaded with Fengler, Lotus head man Colin Chapman rushed up to join the conversation, with the end of the race just minutes away, Fengler took no action, and Jones went on to win. The Lotus-Ford team, while unhappy with the favoritism displayed by race officials toward Jones and Agajanian
McLaren Racing Limited, competing as McLaren Honda, is a British Formula One team based at the McLaren Technology Centre, Surrey, England. McLaren is best known as a Formula One constructor but has competed in and won the Indianapolis 500. The team is the second oldest active team after Ferrari and they are one of the most successful teams in Formula One history, having won 182 races,12 drivers championships and eight constructors championships. The team is an owned subsidiary of McLaren Technology Group. Further American triumph followed, with Indianapolis 500 wins in McLaren cars for Mark Donohue in 1972, the combination of Prost and Senna was particularly dominant—together they won all but one race in 1988—but their rivalry soured and Prost left for Ferrari. Fellow English team Williams offered the most consistent challenge during this period, however, by the mid-1990s, Honda had withdrawn from Formula One, Senna had moved to Williams, and the team went three seasons without a win. Ron Dennis retired as McLaren team principal in 2009, handing the role to longtime McLaren employee Martin Whitmarsh.
At the end of 2013, after the teams worst season since 2004, McLaren announced in 2013 that they would be using Honda engines from 2015 onwards, replacing Mercedes-Benz. The team raced as McLaren-Honda for the first time since 1992 at the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, Bruce McLaren Motor Racing was founded in 1963 by New Zealander Bruce McLaren. Bruce was a driver for the British Formula One team Cooper with whom he had won three Grands Prix and come second in the 1960 world championship. In 1964 and 1965, McLaren were based in New Malden, during this period, Bruce drove for his team in sports car races in the United Kingdom and North America and entered the 1965 Tasman Series with Phil Hill, but did not win it. He continued to drive in Grands Prix for Cooper, but judging that teams form to be waning, Bruce made the teams Grand Prix debut at the 1966 Monaco race. His race ended after nine laps due to an oil leak. Neither car brought great success, the best result being a fourth at Monaco, for 1968, after driving McLarens sole entry for the previous two years, Bruce was joined by 1967 champion and fellow New Zealander Denny Hulme, who was already racing for McLaren in Can-Am.
That years new M7A car, Herds final design for the team, was powered by Cosworths new and soon to be ubiquitous DFV engine, Hulme won the Italian and Canadian Grands Prix in the year, helping the team to second in the constructors championship. The year 1970 started with a place each for Hulme. After his death, Teddy Mayer took over control of the team, Hulme continued with Dan Gurney. Gurney won the first two Can-Am events at Mosport and St. Jovite and placed ninth in the third, but left the team mid-season, and Gethin took over from there
Such racing had been sanctioned by the AAA, USAC, SCCA, the CRL, CART, and IndyCar. In its most popular and recent contemporary usage, Champ Car was the given to a governing body formerly known as Championship Auto Racing Teams. The CART series was founded in 1979 by team owners who disagreed with the direction, at the height of the popularity of the series in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was known as the CART/PPG Indy Car World Series. The term Champ Car temporarily disappeared from use, with the more marketable term Indy Car being utilized, in 1996, the open wheel split saw the CART series take a different direction from the newly created Indy Racing League IRL and the Indy 500. Thereafter, it re-branded itself as CART again, and re-booted the term Champ Car as the moniker for the machines used, the series was advertised as CART FedEx Championship Series from 1997 to 2002. CART went bankrupt at the end of the 2003 season, a trio of CART team owners acquired the assets of the sanctioning body and renamed it as the Champ Car World Series, again highlighting the historic Champ Car term.
In 1905 the AAA established the national driving championship and became the first sanctioning body for auto racing in the United States, the AAA ceased sanctioning auto racing in the general outrage over motor racing safety that followed the 1955 Le Mans disaster. In response, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president Tony Hulman formed USAC to take over the sanctioning of what was called championship auto racing, USAC sanctioned the championship exclusively until 1978, when a split between USAC and some of the car owners prompted the formation of the rival CART series. The split from USAC was spurred by a group of activist car owners who had grown disenchanted with what they saw as a sanctioning body. Gurney took his inspiration from the improvements Bernie Ecclestone had forced on Formula One with his creation of the Formula One Constructors Association. The White Paper called for the owners to form CART as a group to promote USACs national championship. The group would work to negotiate television rights and race purses.
USACs rejection of the led the owners to form a new series in late 1978 under the principles laid out in the Gurney White Paper. The first race was held in March 1979, the newness of the organization, prevented it from being recognized by ACCUS, the United States representative to the FIA. An arrangement was reached such that the SCCA would act as the body for the new series. This would allow the events to be listed on the International Motorsports Calendar, the new series quickly gained the support of the majority of team and track owners, with the only notable holdout being A. J. Foyt. This meant that the front and mid-pack teams would be racing in the new CART series, of the 20 races held in 1979,13 were part of the 1979 CART Championship. Of the 10 tracks to host races, five would host CART events exclusively and one, Ontario, by 1982, the CART series was almost universally recognized as the American national championship
Chaparral Cars was a pioneering American automobile racing team and race car developer that engineered and raced cars from 1963 through 1970. Founded in 1962 by American Formula One racers Hap Sharp and Jim Hall, it was named after the roadrunner and Barnes were builders of the original Chaparral race cars. Jim Hall purchased two Chaparral 1s to race, when Hall and Sharp began building their own cars, they asked Troutman and Barnes if they could continue to use the Chaparral name. That is why the Hall/Sharp cars are all named Chaparral 2s, despite winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1980, they left motor racing in 1982. Chaparral cars featured in the SCCA/CASC Can-Am series and Endurance racing, Jim Hall was a leader in the innovation and design of spoilers and ground effects. A high point was the 1966 2E Can-Am car, the 2J CanAm sucker car was the first ground-effects car. The development of the Chaparral chronicles the key changes in race cars in the 1960s and 1970s in both aerodynamics and tires, the embryonic data acquisition systems created by the GM research and development group aided these efforts.
An interview with Hall by Paul Haney illustrates many of these developments, in 1957, Hall raced the front-engined Chaparral through 1962, bought from Troutman and Barnes. Hall and Hap Sharp extensively modified their Chaparral, and eventually decided to build their own car and they obtained permission from Trouman and Barnes to use the Chaparral name, which is why all of Halls cars are called Chaparral 2s. Hall had significant under the assistance from GM, including engineering and technical support in the development of the car. First raced in late 1963, the Chaparral 2 developed into a dominant car in the CanAm series in 1966 and 1967, designed for the 200 mile races of the CanAm series, it was a winner in longer endurance races. In 1965 it shocked the world by winning the 12 Hours of Sebring in a pouring rain storm. The Chaparral 2 featured the use of fiberglass as a chassis material. The Chaparral 2C had an aluminum chassis. It is very difficult to identify all iterations of the car as new ideas were being tested continually, the 2A is the car as originally raced, featuring a very conventional sharp edge to cut through the air.
It featured a concave tail reminiscent of the theories of Wunibald Kamm, as the car evolved, it grew and changed shape. Most call these 2Bs, as raced through the end of 1965, the 2C was the next car with the innovative in-car adjustable rear wing. The integrated spoiler-wing was designed to lie flat for low drag on the straights and this was a direct benefit of the clutchless semi-automatic transmission which kept the drivers left foot free to operate the wing mechanism
A chassis consists of an internal vehicle frame that supports an artificial object in its construction and use, can provide protection for some internal parts. An example of a chassis is the underpart of a motor vehicle, if the running gear such as wheels and transmission, and sometimes even the drivers seat, are included, the assembly is described as a rolling chassis. In the case of vehicles, the rolling chassis means the frame plus the running gear like engine, drive shaft, differential. An under body, which is not necessary for integrity of the structure, is built on the chassis to complete the vehicle. For commercial vehicles, a rolling chassis consists of an assembly of all the parts of a truck to be ready for operation on the road. The design of a car chassis will be different than one for commercial vehicles because of the heavier loads. Commercial vehicle manufacturers sell chassis only and chassis, as well as chassis cab versions that can be outfitted with specialized bodies and these include motor homes, fire engines, box trucks, etc.
In particular applications, such as buses, a government agency like National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U. S. defines the design standards of chassis. An armoured fighting vehicles hull serves as the chassis and comprises the part of the AFV that includes the tracks, drivers seat. This describes the hull, although common usage might include the upper hull to mean the AFV without the turret. The hull serves as a basis for platforms on tanks, armoured carriers, combat engineering vehicles. In an electronic device, the chassis consists of a frame or other supporting structure on which the circuit boards. In the absence of a frame, the chassis refers to the circuit boards and components themselves. The combination of chassis and outer covering is called an enclosure. Vietnam Studies, Department of the Army, Washington, D. C.1978
Steve Nichols is an American engineer who is best known as a car designer for many Formula One teams from the mid-1980s until 2001. Nichols graduated from the University of Utah in 1972 and he began his career as a development engineer at Hercules Aerospace in 1973. In mid-1980 he moved to motorsport and joined McLaren in Formula One, in 1987 he became head car designer in McLaren following the departure of John Barnard to Ferrari. McLarens second team driver Stefan Johansson, scored five podium finishes during the season, at the end of the season, the MP4/3 had given McLaren second place behind Williams in the Constructors Championship. Nichols second car was the highly successful McLaren MP4/4, powered by a turbocharged Honda V6, the MP4/4, driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, almost completely dominated the 1988 season with 15 race victories from 16 races, as well as 15 pole positions. The only race the MP4/4 didnt win was the Italian Grand Prix which was won by Gerhard Bergers Ferrari, berger claimed the only non-McLaren pole of the year at the British Grand Prix.
McLaren won the 1988 Constructors Championship by a record 134 points from Ferrari and Prost finished the Drivers Championship in first and second place, giving the talented Brazilian his first World Championship. At the end of 1989, he moved to Ferrari, at Ferrari he reunited with Alain Prost. He stayed at Ferrari until December 1991, and joined with Sauber to help Peter Sauber move into Formula One, in 1993 he moved to Jordan as chief designer, in 1995 he was back at McLaren as a technical consultant. He assisted McLaren back to the front of the grid and winning the title in 1998 and 1999. In 2001 he joined Jaguar Racing as technical director, although his success gave the first podium for Jaguar in Monaco, Nichols left at the end of the 2001 season