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BIOGRAPHY

Before entering motorsport, Tony Purnell had a lengthy academic career in England and the United States. Having gained a scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at Manchester University, he subsequently won the Kennedy Scholarship at MIT where he completed his Masters Degree. His dissertation was on the subject of Formula One aerodynamics.

After a period at the MIT Sloan School of Management, Purnell returned to the UK as a researcher at Cambridge University. Here he began work on wind tunnel analysis software for the Lola organisation and consulted for the short-lived FORCE F1 team.

He went on to found Pi Research around his software and by the late 1990s had built the company into a highly successful global electronics business. In 1999 the company was purchased by the Ford Motor Company.

Still under Purnell's management, Pi Research was made part of Ford's Premiere Performance Division alongside Cosworth and the Jaguar Formula One team.

Tony was Team Principal of the Jaguar Formula One Team in 2003 and 2004 and when Ford announced its withdrawal from F1 at the end of 2004 he set about trying to locate a new owner. On November 15, 2004, Red Bull announced that it had purchased the team and Red Bull Racing was born.

Tony subsequently worked for the FIA as an advisor to Max Mosley where his focus was on costs and was the driving force behind the (then) FIA President in the budget cap moves of 2009.

Tony also worked with Peter Wright on regulations to make the sport more entertaining. They also put together the main concepts for a new powertrain, originally for 2012.

Today he lives a quiet life teaching students in the Engineering Department at Cambridge and leading the use of technology within cycling as part of UKSport's Olympic strategy.

Email: editor@pitpass.com

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