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  Ensign N179 Cosworth      

  Article Image gallery (35) Chassis (2) Specifications  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced in:1979
Numbers built:2
Designed by:Dave Baldwin
Predecessor:Ensign N177 Cosworth
Successor:Ensign N180 Cosworth
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:January 04, 2016
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Click here to download printer friendly versionPioneered by Team Lotus in 1977, ground-effect aerodynamics was clearly the only way to success. After fielding a modified flat-bottom car in 1978, Mo Nunn's Ensign team also jumped on the bandwagon in 1979. Developed with funding from Teddy Yip and his Theodore team, this was the first all-new Ensign since the 1975 season. Once again responsible for the design was Dave Baldwin.

With ground-effect aerodynamics, a large amount of downforce is generated by wing-shaped tunnels. On single-seater cars, these are usually fitted on either side of the cockpit in full-length 'side-pods', which up to then were only used to house the radiators. To maximise the area available for the tunnels, Baldwin relocated the radiators on the new N179 to the front of the car from the scuttle to the nose. The rest of the design was conventional and built around the readily available Cosworth DFV engine and Hewland gearbox.

The modified N177 was used for the opening two rounds of the year by Derek Daly before he switched to the N179 for the South African Grand Prix. As it turned out, this was not really a step forward as the stack of radiators mounted in front of the driver was not very efficient. Daly failed to qualify and for the next round scoops were added but this was hardly an improvement. Eventually, the car was redesigned and the radiators were moved back to the side-pods. This did little to improve the results and Daly, Patrick Gaillard and Marc Surer only managed to qualify the car for only a handful of Grands Prix.

At the end of the year, the Ensign team was dramatically reshuffled and Baldwin was replaced by Ralph Bellamy and Nigel Bennett. Together they started with a clean sheet ahead for the all-new N180. Still working on a very tight budget, it again did not bring the Ensign team any notable results.

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  Article Image gallery (35) Chassis (2) Specifications