The people behind RFR
The people who make up RFR are some of the most talented and experienced in the motor sport industry. By purchasing from RFR you will be in the perfect position to benefit from the wealth of experience that comes with the hundreds of race wins that have been attributed to their past work.
Here, you can find information on some of the key staff members who make up RFR.
Ralph Firman began his career in motor racing running Formula 3 cars for a series of drivers, amongst whom the most successful was Emerson Fittipaldi, later to become F1 World Champion.
After a period of years, Ralph committed to building his own car, and in 1972 Van Diemen was created, the history of which is well documented. During his tenure, some 5000 single seater and sports racing cars were produced and his Duckhams/Van Diemen Formula Ford team was the starting point for many successful drivers - amongst the most notable being Ayrton Senna and Eddie Irvine. (There was a period when 7 drivers in F1 had started their racing in a Van Diemen chassis.)
Elan Motorsports purchased Van Diemen in 1999 together with G-Force (manufacturers of Indy cars), and Ralph took over as C.E.O. of the Elan Group resulting in the winning of the Indy 500 in year 2000.
Stepping down in 2004, he persued other interests until 2008 when he decided to return to the sport he loved, forming a new company, RFR, and building a new state-of-the-art F1000 car for the US market.
Angela Firman was a director of Van Diemen Racing for 30 years. During that time she controlled all purchasing and administration for the Company. She joins RFR in the same capacity, bringing with her a vast amount of knowledge and experience in these fields.
David Baldwin began his career at Lotus Components and graduated to chief designer where, amongst other projects, he was instrumental in designing the Lotus 59 and Lotus 69 F2 and F3 cars in the late 1960s.
During the 1970s he worked at Team Lotus, Ensign F1 and McLaren F1 where he was highly respected for his mechanical engineering expertise. In 1978 he became a share holding director at Van Diemen, and was the mainstay of all design for the Company until the change of ownership in 1999.
Having successfully completed the RFR F1000, David has now undertaken the challenge of the new F2000/FC car for RFR.
John was educated in Northern Ireland where he qualified as an engineer and in 1986 he joined Van Diemen as Sales and Marketing Manager where he remained for 20 years.
Upon his departure from Van Diemen, John continued to work alongside Ralph on various construction projects including what is now the new RFR factory premises.
He returned to his position in sales and marketing with RFR at its inception in 2008.