A Longer Read – The Great Curve

Aviation’s loss was very much UK motorsport’s gain in the case of Frank Costin and Malcolm Sayer, twin pioneers of applied aerodynamic theory.

photo credit: (c) motortrend

Britain’s motor industry may now be a pale shadow of its heyday, but it remains a centre of excellence in motorsport research, development and manufacture. Once derided by Enzo Ferrari as a collection of ‘garagistas’, the UK motorsport business rose to dominance by the ingenuity of visionaries like John Cooper and Colin Chapman, aided by gifted engineers, who could apply inspired theory into race-winning practice.

The British were also amongst the first to realise the importance of taking a scientific approach to airflow management, and it was perhaps the pioneering work of two men, refugees from the world of aviation, which did more to legitimise the study of aerodynamics, as applied to the sports / racing car than any other factor.

In today’s ‘Longer Read’, we profile Frank Costin and Malcolm Sayer, two largely unsung heroes of automotive and motorsport history.

Author: Eóin Doyle

Founder. Editor. Content Provider.

2 thoughts on “A Longer Read – The Great Curve”

  1. Surely Frank Costin also deserves mentions for his wartime work on the remarkable De Havilland Mosquito (which even Goering admired) and for his founding with Jem Marsh of the equally revolutionary Marcos Cars. Marcos was woefully underfunded, of course, but the design of its cars remains striking to this day. Thank you for this essay on two immensely talented gentlemen.

    1. Brieuc: With people of the calibre of Costin and Sayer, the trouble was always what to leave out. Coupled to that was a lack of clarity as to the degree to which the former was involved with the Mosquito project at De Havilland. I should in retrospect have mentioned the Marcos – particularly the original racing model, which embodied a good deal of Costin’s thinking and damn the aesthetics!

      Anyway, I’m pleased you enjoyed the article – thanks for stopping by.

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