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BAR gearbox picks up top award 27 Oct 2004

The BAR end of season team picture.
Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Brazilian Grand Prix, Race Day, Interlagos, Brazil, 24 October 2004

The BAR Honda Formula One team has won the 2004 Simms Medal, awarded by the Royal Automobile Club (RAC), for the development of its carbon-fibre gearbox.

The Simms Medal, named after RAC founder Frederick Simms, is presented in recognition of 'a genuine contribution to motoring innovation by individuals or small companies that also exemplify the spirit of adventure'.

The RAC’s Motoring Technical Committee judged BAR to be two years ahead of their competitors in the application of carbon-fibre to provide design solutions to critical-mass components in Formula One cars. In their opinion, the Formula One results that BAR have achieved this season have been aided considerably by these developments.

Although BAR are not the first team to use a carbon fibre gearbox, they are the first to fully integrate the gearbox into the overall design of the rear end of the car, including a highly-refined cluster developed by BAR and their engine and chassis development partner Honda. This has enabled BAR to take full advantage of the strength and weight-saving benefits of this technology.

John Wood, Chairman of the Technical Committee commented: "Successful Formula One designs are frequently those in which the engineers have found new ways to exploit the latest technology in the search for the ideal. The need to get the mass where you want it is well understood and hence the desire to create the lightest possible gearbox structure. A number of teams have attempted carbon-fibre gearboxes but it is the small, dedicated team at BAR Honda who have actually achieved it and with considerable success."

Professor Gary Savage, BAR’s Deputy Technical Director, added: "I am delighted to accept the Simms Medal on behalf of the BAR Honda F1 team. It has taken a year of research and development by a team of dedicated people to bring this current carbon fibre gearbox into existence. We are extremely proud of the performance and reliability of this year's car, the BAR Honda 006, and are currently working on an even smaller and lighter gearbox for 2005."

BAR were the most improved team of 2004, finishing second to Ferrari in the constructors’ championship with 119 points and 11 podium finishes.