COMPANY HISTORY

Prodrive was formed in 1984 and has a long and successful history in motorsport and more recently in developing technology and cars for the road. Below is a year by year summary of the company.

2014
On 27 January Prodrive commemorates the 30th anniversary of its very first event, the Qatar Rally, which it also won with the Porsche 911 SC RS.

2013
In February, Aston Martin Racing announces its most ambitious programme to date with up to five works cars in the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and at Le Mans. The Vantage GTE wins the first round at Silverstone in April and is second at Spa and goes on to win 9 of the 16 GTE Pro and Am races. Despite this the team finishes second in the manufacturers' title race bu wins the GTE Am Drivers' title.
 
Prodrive develops the MINI RX, based on the MINI WRC, for the Global Rallycross series – its first event is the X Games in Munich which it wins.  The MINI wins its first rally championship title in Spain and goes on to win national titles in the Ukraine and the Czech Republic.
 
Prodrive grows its composites business in Milton Keynes as its starts a major £15 million programme building all the bodywork and interios for a new British supercar.  Prodrive's technology division also designs and manufactures the active rear and front aero system for the same car. 
 
2012
Dani Sordo takes second place in the MINI WRC at the Monte Carlo Rally, but it is a limited programme of just seven events for the Prodrive WRC Team in the World Rally Championship in 2012. Sordo also drives the S2000 spec MINI in Corsica and wins the tarmac event, the first major international event win for the MINI.  In the final event of the season Sordo sets six fastest stage times at the Rally of Spain proving the MINI WRC to be the fastest car over the final two days.
 
The new Aston Martin Vantage GTE debuts in Sebring in the new FIA World Endurance championship. Throughout the series it achieves several pole positions and podiums, including third place at Le Mans and finally wins its first event in Shanghai in the last round.
 
Prodrive divests itself of its Australian operations. Ford Performance Vehicles in which it has 51% stake is fully taken over by Ford of Australia, while the 100% owned Ford Performance Racing is sold to Rod Nash racing.
 
Prodrive completes the build of a run of 700 limited edition luxury cars and a few months later starts a similar interior upgrade programme on another luxury car.
 
In March planning approval is given to build the Banbury Gateway shopping park on Prodrive’s Banbury site by the M40, enabling Prodrive to relocate to a much bigger and better facility in Banbury.
 
2011
The MINI returns to the World Rally Championship. Portuguese driver, Armindo Araujo debuts the Super 2000 version of the car at his home event at Rally Portugal. Meanwhile, Spanish rally driver, Dani Sordo, is signed alongside Kris Meeke to drive the works’ MINI. The team is unveiled to the world’s media at the home of MINI, at the Cowley manufacturing plant in Oxford on April 11.
 
The MINI WRC Team debuts at Rally Sardinia in May. Dani Sordo drives the car to a comfortable sixth place. The team competes at Rally Finland and Rally Germany and in the vineyards around Trier, Dani Sordo brings the number 37 MINI John Cooper Works WRC home in third taking the first podium for the new car, an outstanding achievement. He then follows this up by nearly winning the French rally, finishing just six seconds behind first place.
 
Technical issues beset the new AMR-One and its testing is curtailed and the team uses races to continue its development. Prodrive takes the brave decision to compete at Le Mans, but engines issue befalls each car and both are forced to retire early in the race. For the remainder of the year, the Aston Martin Racing team competes with the DBR1-2. Meanwhile, it is announced that a new Vantage-based GT3 will replace the successful DBRS9 in 2011.

The FPR team finish as runners up in the V8 Supercar Series with Mark Winterbottom in third place.
 
Prodrive invests significantly in its composites division expanding the Milton Keyne’s based facility to 32,000 sq ft and installing new autoclaves and milling machines.
 
Prodrive starts the build of a limited edition luxury car at its facility in Warwickshire and sees a significant upturn in its automotive technology business as the motor industry begins to come out of the economic downturn.
2010
Work continues on the development of the new MINI Countryman-based World Rally Car and in July it is officially announced that Prodrive will return to the World Rally Championship with MINI in 2011. At the Frankfurt Motorshow in September, the new MINI John Cooper Works WRC is revealed to the world’s press and the first test car shakes down at Prodrive’s test track in Warwickshire. It is soon announced that British driver, Kris Meeke, will drive for the team, following in the footsteps of fellow Northern Irishman, Paddy Hopkirk, who won the Monte Carlo Rally for Mini in 1964.
 
The Aston Martin DBR1-2 returns to Le Mans, but with no performance balancing with the diesels, the team aims to be the fastest petrol car. In the end the 007 car finishes fifth.
In September, at the Silverstone round of the Le Mans Series, Prodrive announces that it is developing the AMR-One, an all-new petrol powered LMP1 car for the new ACO Le Mans regulations in 2011.
 
In the UK, Prodrive launches its first one make series, the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge of Great Britain, a six round series for owners of the Vantage GT4.
 
In Australia, Prodrive completes the development of an all-new engine for the Ford Performance Vehicle range of vehicles. The new supercharged engine produces more power and torque than its predecessor and is instantly acclaimed by the press. Meanwhile the Ford Performance Racing team and Mark Winterbottom finish third in the drivers’ title and fourth in the teams’ championship.
 
Prodrive’s composite operation secures more than £10 million worth of business with three leading UK-based vehicle manufacturers.
 
2009
It is the 25th anniversary of Prodrive, formed in 1984, but also 50 years since Aston Martin took outright victory at Le Mans in 1959. As a result, Aston Martin Racing announces that it will return to Le Mans in June, this time to compete for an outright title with a new LMP1 car sponsored by Gulf Oil.  the ca wins on its debut in the Le Mans Series in Barcelona and is the highest placed petrol-powered car, finishing fourth overall, behind the diesel Audis and Peugeots at Le Mans. The team also wins both the drivers' and manufacturers' titles in the Le Mans Series – the modern equivalent of the world sports car series.

Prodrive returns to the World Rally Championship for a one off event at Portugal, with Marcus Gronholm competing in the latest specification of Impreza World Rally Car. After running comfortably at the front of the field on day one, he is forced to retire after the first stage on day two after hitting a tree and damaging the engine. It would be the last time a Prodrive 'works' Impreza would compete.

Already Prodrive is working behind the scenes to develop a rally car based on the new 2011 Super 2000 regulations, and by the end of the year is focussed on developing the MINI Countryman into a World Rally Car.
 
On May 29 Prodrive submits an application to the 2010 F1 World Championship, but does not gain an entry, with all three places going to teams choosing to run Cosworth engines.

Prodrive’s ATD dynamics system is applied to a six-wheeler 50 tonne quarry truck, the most recent of more than a dozen applications ranging from high performance sports cars to SUVs. The company also opens a new office in India.
 
In Australia, the Ford Performance Racing team finishes fourth in the teams’ title race and fifth in the drivers’ with Mark Winterbottom.
 
2008
Aston Martin Racing competes in the iconic livery of Gulf Oil and for the second consecutive year, wins the GT1 class at Le Mans with the 009-numbered Aston Martin DBR9, driven by David Brabham, Antonio Garcia and Darren Turner. The team also reveals the new Aston Martin Vantage GT2 and in November in Dubai the new Vantage GT4.  The team aso runs a standard Lola LMP chassis mated with a DBR9 engine, which competes in the Le Mans Series and at Le Mans.

In automotive technology, Prodrive works with Alfa Romeo on engineering the Alfa Romeo Brera S, a special edition of 500 vehicles.

In Australia, FPR has its best year to date and finishes second in the V8 Supercars Championship with FPR driver, Mark Winterbottom runner up in the Championship.
In December, Subaru announces that it is withdrawing from the World Rally Championship with immediate effect, bringing to an end a relationship that had spanned nearly 20 years.
 
2007
For the first time since 1959, Aston Martin triumphs at Le Mans. The winning Aston Martin Racing DBR9 (009) is driven to GT1 class victory and a remarkable fifth overall by David Brabham, Rickard Rydell and Darren Turner. A bio-fuelled Aston Martin DBRS9 makes British motorsport history as it wins its first race.
 
The Subaru World Rally Team competes in the World Rally Championship finishing third in the manufacturers' championship and Solberg 5th in the drivers' championship.
FPR's Mark Winterbottom finishes 5th and FPR 4th in the teams' title in the V8 Supercar Series.

In automotive technology, Prodrive leads a consortium of British companies to develop a new DC-DC converter for use in automotive hybrid and electric vehicles. The company also begins work on developing a highly efficient micro CHP system for use in households. The system uses waste heat energy to drive a stirling engine to produce electricity for the home.

Prodrive's specialist manufacturing teams build satellite components for a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, which blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in March 2007.

On 23 November, Prodrive announces that it will not be taking up its F1 entry after a legal challenge by Williams to the use of customer cars.
 
2006
At the very beginning of the year, Prodrive unveils its P2 concept car at the Autosport exhibition in Birmingham.
 
The Aston Martin Racing team competes in a full American Le Mans Series, winning four races but just missing out on the team's championship to the factory Corvette team. At Le Mans the team goes one better than 2005 coming in second in the GT1 class. Aston Martin Racing customers Larbre win the Le Mans Endurance Series.
 
The Subaru World Rally Team, by its standards, has a poor season, and for the first time in more than a decade does not win a round of the WRC.

Meanwhile in Australia, Prodrive's Ford Performance Racing team has its best year to date winning several races and taking third in the drivers' championship with Mark Winterbottom and second in the teams'.

In automotive technology, Prodrive's own four wheel, self-leaning concept, Naro, makes its first run and proves the unique concept. It also runs the Go-engine variable compression ratio engine for the first time on the dynamometer and launches a new range of performance parts for the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. The Mazda RX8 PZ is launched in the UK, a car developed in conjunction with Prodrive.
 
Prodrive launches the Aston Martin Rally GT, the first new Aston Martin rally car for more than 50 years. The car is based on the V8 Vantage and competes in three rounds of the French tarmac rally championship as well as the Race of Champions. The company also builds and sells a record 50 Subaru Impreza Group N rally cars, while its customers win a record 16 international and national rally championships in Prodrive-built cars, including the Production World Rally Championship.
 
In Asia-Pacific, Prodrive opens its first office in China in October.

On 28 April, Prodrive is granted an entry to the 2008 F1 championship.

2005
Prodrive’s founder and chairman, David Richards, is awarded the CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list.
 
The Aston Martin DBR9 makes its racing debut at the 12 Hours of Sebring in Florida in March and wins. The two DBR9s in Le Mans specification are taken to the FIA GT round at Silverstone, which is also the centenary of the RAC Tourist Trophy. The team takes its second consecutive win with a one-two on its home debut. In June, the Aston Martin Racing team goes to the Le Mans 24 Hours. After a close fought battle with the GM Corvettes, the team is forced to settle for third place on its Le Mans debut.

The Subaru World Rally Team has a great start to the season, with Petter Solberg winning in Sweden and then on the new WRC 2005 car’s debut in Mexico.  Hpwever, Solberg would again finish in second place at the end of the year to Loeb.

FPR has a second year with no wins or podiums in the V8 Supercar Series.

Prodrive builds its first front wheel drive ATD demonstrator, based on the Ford Focus RS, which helps control the increasing amounts of power being demanded on ‘hot-hatches’..

Prodrive successfully transfers the turbo anti-lag technology used on its Subaru World Rally Cars on to a road car engine.
 
2004
After a good start to the season with points scored in all the first seven events, reigning world Rally Champion, Petter Solberg, fails to finish three events allowing Sebastien Loeb to pull away in the title chase, leaing Solberg to finish second and Subaru third.
 
Two Prodrive Ferraris return to Le Mans with former World Rally Champion, Colin McRae, sharing the driving duties in the No. 65 car. This is his first attempt at the gruelling 24 hour race and, after some mechanical problems, he helps the team bring the car home in third.

FPR has a disappointing season in the V8 Supercar Series with no wins.

Prodrive begins work on bringing the Dodge Viper SRT10 to Europe. The company ensures the car meets European Type Approval and will begin manufacturing the car in October..

Naro is unveiled. This narrow leaning concept vehicle is designed to help ease traffic congestion.
 
The Prodrive-managed BAR F1 Team shows its potential as British driver, Jenson Button claims his first podium at Malaysia and then goes on to finish third in the drivers' title and  the BAR team second in the constructors' championship.  The result sees Honda buy the team from BAT meaning Prodrive's job is complete.
 
2003
At Le Mans, the Prodrive Ferrari team wins the GTS class in the 24-hour endurance race, more than 10 laps ahead of its nearest class rival. In the American Le Mans Series the team secures four race victories, narrowly missing out on the GTS class championship. At the end of the year the team return to Le Mans for the 1000Km event and take first and second place.

Prodrive takes its sixth World Rally Championship title, with Petter Solberg clinching the drivers’ title in the final round of the championship. In the US rally series, the Prodrive run Subaru Rally Team USA secure second place in the manufacturers championship..

In Australia, Prodrive goes racing in the Australian V8 Supercar series for the first time with Ford Performance Racing. The three-car team takes victory in one event and finishes the Bathurst 1000 race in second place.
 
In December, Prodrive announces a deal with Aston Martin to design, develop and run a GT version of its DB9 car and to create Aston Martin Racing.
 
2002
In rallying Petter Solberg is joined by four times World Champion Tommi Makinen who claims his 24th WRC victory at Monte Carlo, making him the most successful rally driver of all time. Solberg claims his first WRC victory in the 2002 WRC finalé at the Rally of GB, securing second place in the drivers' championship and helping Subaru to third in the manufacturers' title..

In the SCCA ProRally Championship Mark Lovell in third and Subaru 2nd..

In sports cars, Prodrive enters the 24 hours of Le Mans for the first time. Running in the GTS class, the Prodrive Ferrari qualifies in pole position and leads its class rivals through the night before being forced to retire..

Prodrive runs the Volvo S60 Super 2000 team in a rejuvenated European Touring Car Championship. Drivers Rickard Rydell and James Hanson give the team 3rd place in the manufacturers' championship..

Prodrive's Automotive Technology division continues to develop its offering to global vehicle manufacturers with the opening of its first office in Germany and new a partnership with Italian transmission manufacturer, Graziano. The joint venture with Ford in Australia is renamed Ford Performance Vehicles, and Prodrive USA is launched in California to capitalise on the performance car component market. Prodrive launches the microproteus range of development ECUs and produces a new ATD demonstrator specifically for a vehicle manufacturer.
  
2001
at the final round of World Rally Championship in Great Britain, Richard Burns secures third place in his Subaru Impreza WRC2001 to become the first Englishman to take the drivers' title. The win gives Prodrive its fifth World Rally Championship title..

Prodrive also runs Subaru Rally Team USA in the SCCA ProRally Championship in the USA with Mark Lovell taking the drivers' title and Subaru the teams'.
 
Prodrive extends its circuit racing experience into sports cars. Prodrive designs and builds a full race version of the Ferrari 550 Maranello, winning in only its second race of the FIA GT Championship, at the A1 Ring in Austria it would win again at Jarama.
 
Prodrive continues its growth and expansion with the acquisition of Tickford Engineering, giving it operations in North America and Australia.
At the end of the year it is announced that Prodrive will take over the management of the ailing BAR F1 team.
 
2000
Returning to the British Touring Car Championship with Ford Team Mondeo, Prodrive firmly establishes itself as the team to beat. By mid-season, Prodrive wins its fourth BTCC title, with Alain Menu taking the Drivers' title over team-mate Anthony Reid and Rickard Rydell in third.  The team wins 11 races that year
 
In the Word Rally Championship, Prodrive secures a runners-up spot for Richard Burns in the Drivers' Championship while taking third in the Manufacturers' Championship. Success isn't limited to Prodrive's factory teams. The Prodrive Allstars helped Spike Team Subaru to victory in the FIA Teams' Cup.
 
Prodrive moves its automotive technology business to a 240-acre site near Warwick, UK, which includes a proving ground with 2.5 mile test track.
 
1999
Burns and Kankkunen drive the Subaru Impreza WRC99 fitted with Prodrive's drive-by-wire transmission. This new technology helps the team to second place in the Manufacturers' Championship, and Richard Burns to second in the Drivers'. 
 
Prodrive's first year with the Ford Mondeo touring cars sees the team take sixth place in the British Touring Car Championship.
 
Venture Capitalists, APAX, take a 49 per cent share in Prodrive enabling the company to finance its rapid growth plans.
 
1998
Despite four World Rally victories, several retirements mean that Prodrive takes third in the Manufacturers' and Drivers' Championships in the Subaru Impreza 555 WRC98.
 
Prodrive takes the Honda Accord to fourth place in the British Touring Car Championship.
 
1997
Prodrive wins its third consecutive Manufacturers' World Rally Championship for Subaru and Colin McRae again just misses out on a Drivers' title in the first year of the new World Rally Car regulations.  In the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, Prodrive takes its third Manufacturers' and fourth Drivers' titles again with Kenneth Erikkson. On the way to these three titles, Prodrive adds another nine rally victories.
 
After a year's break, Prodrive returns to touring cars with Honda, taking the Accord to third place in the British Touring Car Championship.
 
Prodrive gains ISO9001 accreditation and the Investors in People award.
 
1996
Prodrive retains the Manufacturers' World Rally Championship title in the Impreza 555 while McRae finoshes second in the Drivers' title. Eriksson wins the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and helps Subaru to second in the Manufacturers' title. .

Prodrive has no race programme in 1996.
 
1995
An historic year for Prodrive as Colin McRae wins the Drivers' and Subaru the Manufacturers' World Rally Championships at the final round the RAC Rally, adding six more rally victories to its tally.  Colin McRae takes second place in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship, while Subaru is also second in the manufacturers' title. 
 
Prodrive returns to the BTCC and runs the works Alfa Romeo touring car team.
 
1994
The Subaru Impreza 555 is driven by Carlos Sainz, Colin McRae and Richard Burns on its way to a second place in the Manufacturers' World Rally Championship. Carlos Sainz clinches second place in the Drivers' Championship and Richard Burns makes his debut in the World Championship.
 
For the second year, Possum Bourne wins the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships, and Prodrive wins another six rallies.
 
1993
Colin McRae wins his and Subarus first WRC event at Rally New Zealand. The Subaru Impreza then makes its debut for the new 555-sponsored Subaru team in the WRC taking second place in the 1000 Lakes Rally with Ari Vatanen. 
 
This is also the year up and coming driver, Richard Burns, makes his debut for the Subaru team driving the Legacy RS to victory in the British Rally Championship. Possum Bourne wins the Asia-Pacific Rally Championship and another 10 rally victories are added to the total  in 1993..

There is no race programme in 1993 or 1994.
 
1992
Colin McRae takes his second British Rally Championship in the Subaru Legacy RS and adds another seven rally wins to Prodrive's tally, including the Bettega Memorial.  Ari Vatanen drives alongside McRae in the World Rally Chmapionship.
 
In Prodrive's fifth consecutive year in touring cars with BMW, but also the final year.
 
1991
Little known driver, Colin McRae, takes the rallying world by storm winning four more rallies for Prodrive in the Subaru Legacy RS on the way to taking the British Rally Championship. In this year, Prodrive reaches the milestone of 50 rally victories.
 
Prodrive creates an engineering division to offer its project design consultancy to other motorsports teams and the mainstream automotive market.
 
Steve Soper finishes fourth in the British Touring Car Championship.
 
1990
Prodrive makes it a hat trick of wins in the two litre (class B)British Touring Car Championship as Frank Sytner regains his crown, and rounds off its rallying relationship with BMW with another French Rally Championship for Chatriot and four more rally victories.  This is also the year Prodrive begins its rallying relationship with Subaru with a debut for the new group A Legacy RS on the Safari Rally in Kenya.
 
1989
Prodrive wins 13 races in the two-litre British Touring Car Championship and takes the class B title for the second year with the BMW M3, this time with James Weaver.  While its rally-derivative secures both the Belgian and French Rally Championships with Marc Duez and Francois Chatriot respectively,and another seven rally wins for Prodrive.
 
1988
The Prodrive-prepared BMW M3 becomes the car to beat on the track and stages. It wins the British Touring Car Championship outright  in its first full year, winning 11 races.
 
Meanwhile the BMW M3 rally car wins the Belgian Rally
Championship with Patrik Snijers with second places in the European, French and Italian Championships. In all, the BMW M3 secures 13 more rally wins for Prodrive - a record in one year for the company.
 
1987
Prodrive begins a long-standing partnership with BMW in both rallying and touring cars and wins its first WRC event - the Rally of Corsica (Tour de Corse) with Bernard Beguin in May. Beguin goes on to finish second in the French Rally Championship
 
This year also brings another five rally victories with BMW and Porsche, and second place in the Middle East  Rally Championships.
 
With the BMW M3, Prodrive contests five rounds of the RAC British Touring Car Championship and one round of the World Touring Car Championship. Frank Sytner wins on the BMW's debut at Silverstone and two further rounds both at Donington.
 
1986
Prodrive moves to its present headquarters in Banbury, Oxfordshire from Silverstone.
 
Prodrive competes with its privately-prepared MG Metro 6R4 as well as the Porsche 911 SC RS. The Metro runs in the British and Irish rally championships with drivers like Billy Coleman and Jimmy McRae, while the 911 continues to compete in the Middle East Rally Championship with Al Hajri.  Prodrive wins a further 5 rallies that year.
 
1985
Prodrive wins five more rallies with Porsche and takes the Middle East Rally Championship for a second time with the 911 SC RS. Bernard Beguin competes with the Porsche in the French Rally Championship while Billy Coleman competes in the Irish championship.  The team also makes a one off appearance with the Porsche 959, winning the Pharoahs Rally.
 
1984
Prodrive is formed by David Richards and Ian Parry out of a motorsport marketing and consultancy business.
 
Prodrive forms its first motorsport team, the Rothmans Porsche Rally Team. On its debut at the Qatar Rally on January 27, Saeed Al Hajri wins and goes on to win the Middle East Rally Championship. With drivers like Henri Toivonen and Juha Kankkunen, Prodrive comes second in the European Rally Championship. In all, the team secures seven rally wins.