Motor sport has lost one of its great and world renowned Australian with the death of Ron Tauranac, aged 95. On behalf of the Directors and Members of the Society our sincerest condolences go out to Ron’s family and friends.
Ron’s early involvement with Formula SAE-A was as a guest Chief Design Event judge from when the event was held at the Mitsubishi test facility at Tailem Bend in South Australia and continued for many years after.
Ron was the designer of the Brabham cars which took Sir Jack Brabham and the late Denis Hulme to Formula One World Championships in the 1960s as well as a myriad of Brabhams for other formulae from Indycars to Formula 3 and everything in between. In all, Brabham built about 500 racing cars in total. Oh, they won in every class too! Ron then sold Brabham to Bernie Ecclestone, who used his position as a team owner to wheel and deal himself to be the grand tzar of Formula One.
Later, Ron started Ralt, a race car production company that built cars for many formulae all over the world, and for many years were the chassis you needed to win in F2, F3, F3000, and FAtlantic etc. About 1000 Ralts of various types were built, and many are still racing. He later sold the Ralt Company to March.
So, Ron was incredibly experienced in the design, building and development of ‘production’ race cars, and so was considered a world authority on the subject. Formula SAE-A were very lucky to have him as a special design judge at our competition for many years following, that after stepping down from design he became the patron of our FSAE-A event up to his retirement from us. He had plenty of tips and tricks to share with students of the competing Formula SAE-A teams.Ron was well respected and everyone at Formula SAE-A found him to be an absolute pleasure to work with.