In the beginning…
Then saloon car driver & engineer, Richard Longman, said his goodbyes to his employer; Downtown Engineering in 1971. Richard then formed along with his then partners Richard Longman & Co Ltd. This emergent company soon established an enviable reputation which it still holds to many.
As well as nursing the business through its infancy, Richard continued to race. The lure of single seaters took him to the British Formula 3 Championship competing against and even beating on occasion such notables as Alan Jones, James Hunt and Jody Scheckter, which brought him to the attention of March. Richard eventually turned down an offer to drive with March (combined with a very serious F3 crash) and committed more efforts to the company.
Richard’s absence from the track wasn’t to last long and soon found himself back in the now called British Touring Car Championship. The Longman & Co built cars and engines achieved great results for the Christchurch based company. BTCC crowns followed in 1978 & 1979 with Richard driving the Mini 1275 GT in Patrick Motorsport colours, Teammate Alan Curnow took the first of several BTCC championship runners up spots in 1980 (Datapost Ford Fiesta) with Richard repeating it again in 1982 (Metro 1300), in 1984 (Datapost Ford Escort RS1600i) and in 1986 (Datapost Ford Escort RS Turbo).
1987 marked the end of full time BTCC race entries for Longman & Co as the Ford Sierra RS500 heralded in a new era. By now the company in Airfield Road was well established and strong links had been forged with Des O’Dell of Peugeot Talbot Sport resulting in works engine contracts until 2007. Meanwhile Tom Walkinshaw’s TWR with Jaguar Group C/IMSA programs kept the cylinder head department on their toes. With the many other notable customers, the company’s engineering and engine tuning capabilities were always in demand.
The millennium saw continued engine tuning work with Peugeot, Alfa Romeo and Proton both in the BTCC and ATCC. Richard formed the WK Longman Team with partner Edwin Tso in Hong Kong taking multiple ATCC championships before further ATCC crowns with Petronas Syntium Proton. Throughout this period there were many a strong relationship formed with suppliers, one such being Ole Buhl Racing Ltd and EFI Technology S.r.l. which are still strong to this day.
A hiatus then followed with Richard retiring. Fast forward up to present day, now Longman Racing Ltd resides at the same Airfield Road premises, with Richard’s youngest son Michael being Director and running the day to day operations, Richard is still involved in an advisory role. Longman Racing Ltd now combines the future with the heritage of Richard Longman & Co. The focus now is on motorsport electronics, engine management systems, wiring looms, datalogging and engine mapping/vehicle calibration services.
Richard is proud to be a full life member of the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) having initially been awarded the prestigious Chris Bristow Trophy and latterly the winner of the BRDC Silver Star twice over.
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