Leyton House Racing
|Founded: 1991 (active 1991-1993)
Technical Director: Adrian Newey
March announced in January 1987 that it would be returning to Formula 1 with backing from the Japanese real estate company Leyton House. Robin Herd recruited Gordon Coppuck to be project engineer and Ian Phillips as team manager. In August that year Adrian Newey was appointed technical director. The team concluded an engine deal for 1988 with John Judd and hired Ivan Capelli and Mauricio Gugelmin to drive. The March-Judd 881 did well and in June 1989 Leyton House boss Akira Akagi decided to buy the team. March Racing changed its name to Leyton House Racing. Phillips was appointed managing-director of the new company and Harry Mandel was appointed team manager. The 1990 season was a disaster. Phillips contracted meningitis and was out of action after the Brazilian GP, leaving the inexperienced Simon Keeble running the team. Mandel soon left and Charlie Moody was appointed team manager. The CG901 chassis was not a success and in June Newey was replaced by Lola's Chris Murphy. Several other old March engineers departed soon afterwards.
At the end of the year Capelli and the team's test driver Andy Wallace gave the new Ilmor V10 engine its first shakedown runs but political problems continued with Phillips being dropped at the end of the year. The start of the 1991 season was disappointing and in April there was another management reshuffle with Keeble being axed and Mike Smith being left in charge of the team. Gustav Brunner was appointed technical director over the head of design director Chris Murphy and Yasutada Oda was named new chief executive.
In September that year Akagi was arrested for alleged fraud. The team was run by Akagi associate Ken Marrable but money was short and Capelli stepped down at the end of the year to make way for Karl Wendlinger. Capelli signed for Ferrari for the 1992 season and Gugelmin departed to Jordan.
The team was then sold to a consortium including Marrable, John Byfield, Tony Birchfield, Brunner and Henny Vollenberg. Smith then resigned and the team was renamed March F1. Karl Wendlinger was joined in 1992 by Paul Belmondo although in the midseason Marrable stood down and was replaced by Vollenberg. Towards the end of the year the team had to use other pay-drivers to stay afloat.
Attempts to sell the team in the winter of 1992 failed despite an announcement that the team had been sold to a Swiss investment company called Lysys. The team nominated Jan Lammers and Jean-Marc Gounon to drive in 1993 but there was not enough money available and the operation closed down in early 1993. (source: grandprix.com)
|Leyton House CG901
|Leyton House CG911