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  Toleman TG 183B Hart      

  Article Image gallery (17) TG183-02 Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1983
Numbers built:3
Designed by:Rory Byrne for Toleman
Successor:Toleman TG 184 Hart
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:March 22, 2010
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Click here to download printer friendly versionHaving raced a wide variety of very wild tin-tops in the 1970s, the Toleman Group moved to single seaters towards the end of the decade. Running Ralts in 1979, lead driver Brian Henton was runner-up in the F2 Championship. These Ralts were replaced in 1980 by the in-house designed Toleman TG280, powered by a Hart four cylinder engine. The chassis was designed by a young Rory Byrne, who had joined the team a few years earlier from Royale. The Toleman drivers were Henton and Derek Warrick and they finished first and second in the highly competitive championship.

Encouraged by the immediate success of the Toleman F2 car, the small British team decided to move up the ladder one more step and into Formula 1 for 1981. That was a bigger step now than it had been a few years earlier when the readily available Cosworth DFV engine was still competitive. To be competitive in 1981, the team felt a Turbocharged engine would be required, but at the time there was no customer engine available. Having clinched the F2 title with Brian Hart, they were confident that he could turn his four cylinder engine into a Turbocharged F1 powerplant.

Hart set about designing the new engine and dubbed it the 415T. Installed in the back of one of the Formula 2 ToLe Mans and tested late in 1980, it was the very first British built Turbocharged Formula 1 engine. Thanks to a Holset Turbocharger, the power of the 1.5 litre engine was literally boosted to an impressive 540 bhp. Heavily based on the F2 car, Byrne drew up the first and highly conventional Toleman Formula 1 machine. It was certainly not the most elegant design, thanks to the bulky side-pods used to generate massive amounts of ground-effect downforce.

Dubbed the Toleman TG81, the new Hart engine racer debuted at the start of the season again in the hands of Henton and Warwick. They struggled throughout the season not only with the fragile engine, but also to qualify for the races in the first place. Both drivers only managed to do that one race each. Not deterred by the very poor results, the team persevered with the TG81 in 1982. It still not set the world on fire, but at least Warwick managed to qualify for all but two races. He was joined by a new team-mate, Teo Fabi, who like Henton before struggled to get the car on the grid.

In the meantime Byrne was hard at work developing a second generation Toleman F1 car, complete with carbon fibre monocoque and advanced pull-rod suspension. Although dubbed the TG183, it debuted late in the last two races of 1982 and proved to be a big improvement. Sadly the powerful, but fragile Hart engine left it down at both occasions. With ground-effects banned for 1983, Byrne was forced to come up with a completely new set of aerodynamics for the TG183B raced that year. Although it did not look the part, it was the first real successful Toleman F1 car and the team ended the season with ten points in the bag.

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  Article Image gallery (17) TG183-02 Specifications