In 1983 Nelson Piquet became the first driver in the history of Formula One to win the world championship title in a racing car powered by a turbo engine: the Brabham BMW BT52. The engine that imbued the Brabham BMW BT52 with its legendary status was developed by BMW Motorsport GmbH under the guidance of its then Technical Director, Paul Rosche.
Designer Claude Hill and racers Fred Dixon and Tony Rolt teamed up with Harry Ferguson to create the world’s first four wheel drive Formula car. Ferguson had always loved motorsport and was keen to promote the transmission systems of his company. Work began on the P99 project in 1960. Claude Hill designed the car to have a 50-50 torque distribution front to rear and it car was built to have an even weight distribution over both axles. P99 was front-engined and was fitted with 1.5-litre Climax 4 cylinder engine, mounted at a slant to make room for the front driveshaft. In addition the driving position was moved slightly off-centre to accommodate the gearbox and rear driveshaft to the driver’s left hand side.