Scunthorpe engineer races to glory at Le Mans
Gibson Technology's triumphant team at Le Mans.
By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 27 Jun 2017
The team led by Scunthorpe-born electronics engineer Bill Gibson made history in the world’s greatest ever motor race in front of 260,000 fans.
Bill’s Derbyshire-based firm supplied the engines to a record number of 25 cars entered by 19 teams in Le Mans.
Twenty-one of the Gibson-powered cars finished the 24 hour-races, with the four retirements unrelated to engine issues.
Throughout Le Mans race week and during the 24 hour race itself, Gibson engines covered a total of 143,440.03 kilometres equating to an impressive 719 hours and 27 minutes.
Father of three Bill, 70, the chairman of Gibson technology said: ”This was an amazing achievement for a UK manufacturer, especially with our GK428 engines making their Le Mans debut.
“Our performance was unprecedented, with reliability second to none, especially given the extreme temperatures and conditions.
"We are extremely proud and pleased with the results at Le Mans, and would like to congratulate all the Gibson LMP2 teams for their achievements.
"It was a testament to our workforce and their commitment to developing such high performance race engines that we have been part of history in the making at Le Mans.’”
History-making for Gibson Technology came only two years after the firm made its debut in the French contest
In September 2014, Bill sold his former engineering business, Zytek, to the German-owned firm of Continental AG for an undisclosed sum.
The former student at Scunthorpe’s John Leggott College however retained the motor sport side of the business and changed its name to Gibson Technology.
The racing engineer is best known during his college days in Scunthorpe as the bass guitarist with local rock band The Imps.
In 1971, Bill gained his degree in electronics at Sheffield University where in 2013 he was made a doctor of engineering.
For the next 10 years he worked as an engineer for Joseph Lucas in Birmingham.
Then, in 1981, he decided to go it alone and founded Zytek to design electronics for racing cars.
For the first three years Zytek was a one-man business, operating from a £50-a-week rented workshop in Birmingham.
Bill and his Zytek team were applauded for their drive for innovation in the automotive sector and their ground-breaking work in developing both road and racing cars.
The big breakthrough came when the company supplied former world champion Ayrton Senna with the first fully electronic engine management system seen in Formula 1.
Zytek also developed the first kinetic energy recovery system to win a Formula 1 race.