Prodrive chief and MSA incoming chairman to deliver Watkins Lecture

David Richards CBE

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Named after the late, great Professor Sid Watkins, the Fund's annual Watkins Lecture on motorsport safety issues is usually held in January to coincide with the Autosport International Show.

Leading motorsport and technology company chief and former World Rally Championship-
winning co-driver David Richards is to deliver the 2018 Motorsport Safety Fund’s Watkins Lecture
at the Autosport International show.

The Prodrive chairman, who was appointed a CBE for his services to motorsport, will deliver the
lecture named after the late FIA Formula One Safety and Medical Delegate Professor Sid Watkins, less
than a fortnight after taking over as chairman of UK motor sport's governing body, the MSA.

As Chairman of the MSA Board, Richards will be responsible for the overall strategy and direction of the
organisation, which represents approximately 30,000 competitors, 10,000 volunteer marshals and
officials, and 750 clubs.

In addition to being appointed MSA chairman, Richards was last year inducted into the Motor Sport Hall
of Fame and received the Spirit of Le Mans award from the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO).

He joins an elite trio, including Prof Watkins himself and F1 designer Adrian Newey to be invited to
speak at the event twice in its 21 year history.

Richards last spoke at the event in 2002, immediately after the late Richard Burns had secured the
World Rally Championship driver's title for the Subaru World Rally Team, which Richards was running
at the time.

David Richards' first major success in motorsport came in 1974, when he was 22, when he co-
drove Tony Drummond to the British national rally championship.

Two years later he established his own motorsport consultancy and created a new rally series in the
Middle East, before joining the British Leyland factory team as Tony Pond's co-driver.

After a spell as team manager for Fiat he returned to competition with Ford, as Ari Vatanen's co-driver,
the duo winning the World Rally Championship in 1981.

Richards founded Prodrive in 1984, since when the company has won six World Rally titles; four
British Touring Car Championships; four Le Mans titles; the Le Mans Series; FIA WEC GTE
Am Teams' and Drivers' title and numerous national rally championship titles.

Prodrive also managed the BAR F1 team for three seasons taking it to second place in the F1
constructors' world championship.

In 2007, Richards led a consortium of investors who acquired Aston Martin from Ford, serving as the
company's chairman until four years ago.

Today, Prodrive employs more than 500 staff focusing on motorsport, advanced technology,
composites and bespoke clothing and accessories for leading brands.

The company's composites business is one of the largest of its kind in the UK, employing 200 in Milton
Keynes, while its advanced technology business employs 100 engineers working on projects for
leading vehicles manufacturers and businesses in the aerospace, defence and marine sectors.

David Richards will deliver the 2018 Watkins Lecture at the Autosport International Show at the
NEC in Birmingham, on Friday January 12. The Lecture will start promptly at 11.15 am (doors
open at 11.00 am). Admission is free but by ticket only.

Lecturers to date:

2017 Laurent Mekies, FIA Safety Director
2016 Jean Todt with James Allen
2015 Allan McNish with James Allen
2014 Charlie Whiting with Stuart Codling
2013 Andy Mellor, Technical Director - FIA Institute for Motor Sport Safety and Sustainability

2012 Jonathan Neale Managing Director of McLaren Racing with Maurice Hamilton
2011 Christian Horner and Adrian Newey with Martin Brundle
2010 Adrian Newey with Maurice Hamilton
2009 Ron Dennis CBE with Murray Walker OBE
2008 Malcolm Wilson with Graham Robson
2007 Professor Sid Watkins
2006 Bernie Ecclestone
2005 Ross Brawn
2004 Martin Brundle
2003 Dr Terry R. Trammell
2002 David Richards
2001 Niki Lauda
2000 Max Mosley
1999 Sir Jackie Stewart
1998 Professor Sid Watkins

 

Allan McNish and James Allen
 

2015 Wakins Lecture - Allan McNish and James Allen at the 2015 Watkins Lecture