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  Shadow DN8 Cosworth

  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (4) Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced from:1976 - 1977
Numbers built:6
Designed by:Tony Southgate and Dave Wass for Shadow
Predecessor:Shadow DN5B Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:November 02, 2015
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Click here to download printer friendly versionShadow Racing Cars had campaigned a succession of evolutionary designs since the team's 1973 Formula 1 debut. For the 1976 season, designers Tony Southgate and Dave Wass had laid down a new car but a lack of funds meant that the team continued to race an updated DN5B for most of the season. The first all-new DN8 was finally ready late in the year and debuted at the Dutch Grand Prix late in August.

Although new, the Shadow DN8 was very much a conventional 'Cosworth kit car'. The readily available and also highly competitive Ford Cosworth V8 and Hewland gearbox were bolted directly to a very narrow aluminium monocoque. At the front, the coil springs and dampers were mounted in-board and actuated by rockers, while at the rear the brake discs were fitted alongside the gearbox. Focusing as much weight as possible of the rear wheels, the radiators were mounted on either side of the engine.

Team leader Tom Pryce had a promising debut with the DN8 as he finished a commendable fourth at Zandvoort. He failed to repeat the point-scoring finish in the final four rounds of the season. For the 1977, a second DN8 was finally ready. Pryce was joined this year by young Italian Renzo Zorzi, who finished sixth at round two of the year. Then tragedy struck in the South African Grand Prix, where Tom Pryce crashed his DN8 fatally after hitting a marshal, who was crossing the track to help a stranded Zorzi.

Although still distraught by Pryce's tragic death, Shadow pressed on and replaced the young Welshman with Alan Jones. From the Monaco Grand Prix, Zorzi's place was taken by Riccardo Patrese, while Jackie Oliver, Arturo Merzario and Jean-Pierre Jarier also had one-off outings in the second DN8. Jones, however, was by far the most successful Shadow driver as he clinched what would be the team's first and only victory at the Austrian Grand Prix. Racking up 23 points, it would be Shadow's best ever F1 season.

The DN8s served into the 1978 season as the all-new ground-effect DN9 was readied. New signing Clay Regazzoni added two more points to the DN8 tally with a fifth place finish at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Although forever linked to Pryce's tragic accident, the DN8 has also gone into history as the most successful Shadow Formula 1 car.

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  Article Image gallery (49) Chassis (4) Specifications