Keith Duckworth, one of the joint founders of Cosworth, died last night at the age of 72.
The Yorkshireman originally created the famous engine company with Mike Costin in 1958, where they developed parts for Ford road car engines before switching their attentions to racing.
Talking about creating the company, Duckworth famously said: "We thought it must be possible to make an interesting living messing about with racing cars and engines. That was the total objective behind the formation of Cosworth."
Their original 3-litre V8 engine, the DFV, won at the hands of Jim Clark in a Lotus at the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix. It was the start of an unprecedented run of success for the DFV and its derivatives, which won a total of 155 Grands Prix.
The triumphs of the DFV, as well as success in IndyCar racing, helped establish Cosworth as one of the most famous engine builders in the world before Costin and Duckworth sold their company in 1980. After various owners it was a subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company until only last year when it was purchased by Champ Car boss Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe.
Cosworth's commercial director Bernard Ferguson said: "We are shocked and saddened to learn of Keith's untimely death. Everyone here at Cosworth sends their deepest condolences to his wife Jill and their children.
"He was a true innovator and a legend in his lifetime. Keith's name will live on as an integral part of both the Cosworth name and its culture."
• autosport.com will pay tribute to Keith Duckworth in next week's issue of the Weekly Journal, which will be published on December 28.