Volume I, Issue 5, Page 18


Cosworth’s Nick Hayes Heads RCR Engine Works

Recently, ex-Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya made headlines with his announcement to leave F1 and join NASCAR's Nextel Cup series. Now Jacques Villeneuve, former BMW Sauber driver, has indicated interest in joining the ever-expanding stock car series.

What many NASCAR fans might not know is that while both of these drivers were still racing in F1 and probably hadn’t even considered NASCAR, former Cosworth chief engine designer Nick Hayes had already made the switch. He had worked for Cosworth since 1984 and on a series of different Cosworth V8 engines leading up to the HB with which Michael Schumacher won the F1 World Championship in 1994.

Hayes, named engine development and research director for Richard Childress Racing, has held that position for more than a year. In ‘06, RCR has won the Busch Series title with Kevin Harvick and the owner’s points championship. Plus, Harvick is in the thick of the Chase for the Nextel Cup.

Hayes gives his insight on why he came to NASCAR, the similarities and differences between the two series, and his opinion on why drivers are making the switch.

MC-How did you become involved in racing?

NH- When I was 12, I went to a racetrack in England called Silverstone and saw my first F1 car – and I was basically hooked into racing. Three years later I found work with a local club race driver, polishing wheels. Then I got promoted to polishing the whole car, then

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holding the wrench, then using the wrench and so on. This was all during weekdays andholidays as I was still in school. By the end I was helping to build complete racecars and I was also traveling around the UK with the team. I did that until I went to university. After university I worked on aero engines for Rolls-Royce in the UK.

I thought getting into aerospace for a while would be good for me when it came to my real goal – designing race cars. I worked there two years after my degree when I got a call from Keith Duckworth, one of the founders of Cosworth. We talked for a while and then he offered me a job, so I took it.

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