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Ricardo Divila


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#1 sstiel

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 13:57

We've received news that Racecar Engineering columnist and brilliant engineer Ricardo Divila has died in his sleep. A month ago he had suffered a stroke. Sincere condolences to loved ones.



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#2 Gary C

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 14:06

Very sad to hear this. He actually helped with the setup on my 1969 Nike FFord when I first got it running, we'd been in sporadic contact ever since.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 14:14

I'm saddened to read this. Ricardo was a member here, under the username RDV, and was last seen hereabouts only a couple of months ago.



#4 Doug Nye

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 14:16

Oh my - yet more sad news.  All condolences, of course...

 

DCN



#5 sstiel

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 14:20

Fed up with sad news. It was David Luff who broke the sad news in the Copersucar Fittipaldi Facebook group. 

 

Quite a career: https://www.linkedin.../ricardodivila/


Edited by sstiel, 25 April 2020 - 14:33.


#6 Zmeej

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 15:00

https://www.racecar-...om/blogs/539018

#7 just me again

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 15:23

Sad news. I also followed him on twitter. Where he last posted 9.april

https://twitter.com/...6491447296?s=19

Edited by just me again, 25 April 2020 - 15:23.


#8 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 15:37

Terrible news. I've been in touch with him over the years which is why his profile on ORC.com is quite detailed.
He always struck me as an enthusiastic, modest and decent chap who was rightly proud of his achievements.
Condolences to his family and friends.

#9 Tim Murray

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 15:43

Very sorry to learn this. He was of course great at designing and sorting racing cars, but his posts in the Paddock Club here showed he was interested in and involved with so much more than just racing cars. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

#10 DogEarred

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 16:06

Sad to hear this news.

 

We did not communicate or meet frequently but I remember the last time, which demonstrates the nature of his mind.

 

We had a flurry of skype & emails discussing the possibility of designing a vehicle to break the Brazilian land speed record, utilizing Brazilian sugar cane as a base fuel.

 

He just thought it would be a neat thing to do to bring good publicity to Brazil.



#11 E1pix

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 16:08

Ricardo's presence here was a rare treat indeed. To read insiders like he and Doug and others are a gift to our little circle.

Very sad to lose him, but moreso for his friends, family, and fans. At risk of misinterp, though, I will add that stroke is a horrid thing at any age, so I'm torn on the sadness of that vs. his avoiding the challenges nobody should face afterwards.

Regardless, a life lived properly -- and worthy of our celebration and admiration. It always seems too soon.

RIP.


(great to see you here, Zmeej and Bjorn)

#12 sstiel

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 17:01

Terrible news. I've been in touch with him over the years which is why his profile on ORC.com is quite detailed.
He always struck me as an enthusiastic, modest and decent chap who was rightly proud of his achievements.
Condolences to his family and friends.

How did you get in touch with him Richie Jenkins?

https://twitter.com/...059904812285953 May his thoughts on Twitter be preserved.

DogEarred, the land speed record in Brazil would be a great idea. Maybe name it after him?


Edited by sstiel, 25 April 2020 - 17:10.


#13 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 17:16

Simon, he emailed Allen initially which part was then forwarded to me and then we carried on some correspondence from there.

#14 sstiel

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 18:54

Thanks Richard. 

 


Edited by sstiel, 25 April 2020 - 19:09.


#15 JacnGille

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 19:55

Sad news



#16 Darren Galpin

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 20:40

Very sad to hear this. He used to send me links to articles on Brazilian motorsport, and helped me with the details on an article on the early Fittipaldi F1 cars. I've got a collection of pictures he once forwarded from his time as a mechanic on the Paris-Dakar - I'll try and collate them into an appropriate article soon.



#17 sstiel

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 21:37

Very sad to hear this. He used to send me links to articles on Brazilian motorsport, and helped me with the details on an article on the early Fittipaldi F1 cars. I've got a collection of pictures he once forwarded from his time as a mechanic on the Paris-Dakar - I'll try and collate them into an appropriate article soon.

Sounds interesting. What an extraordinary career he had. Brazilian motorsport is a world in and of itself and like the Fittipaldis, Ricardo Davila had an impact on the wider world.


Edited by sstiel, 25 April 2020 - 21:41.


#18 AleSi

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 21:56

Really sad news. I have also been in touch with Ricardo and he was part of my book about czech people who became famous in international motorsport. Ricardo has czech origin, his father cames from Czech Republic as he worked for shoe factory Bata and with his english wife came to Brazil and because of world war, they never came back and Ricardo was born there. I did an interview with Ricardo and cover his story for a couple of pages in the book, so today is really sad day.



#19 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 03:58

Awfully sad news, he was bright, brilliant and funny.



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#20 1969BOAC500

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 06:07

Sad to hear this. His writing in RCE was always the thing I looked forward to reading first.



#21 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 06:19

I was lucky enough to work at times for the same team as Ricardo during the past decade, a brilliant engineer and a great guy.

 

His columns in RaceCar Engineering were always a highlight of the magazine and eagerly consumed.

 

Andrew Cottton, the editor, pays tribute

 

 https://www.racecar-...UQdXRC26St6147k

 

He will be missed...............



#22 sstiel

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 11:04

Really sad news. I have also been in touch with Ricardo and he was part of my book about czech people who became famous in international motorsport. Ricardo has czech origin, his father cames from Czech Republic as he worked for shoe factory Bata and with his english wife came to Brazil and because of world war, they never came back and Ricardo was born there. I did an interview with Ricardo and cover his story for a couple of pages in the book, so today is really sad day.

That's really interesting. Ricardo was like the Fittipaldis, of Eastern European origin. Is Divila a Portuguese name?



#23 nexfast

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Posted 26 April 2020 - 12:05

Is Divila a Portuguese name?

 

Not at all, it is I believe a Czech name.



#24 Darren Galpin

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Posted 27 April 2020 - 21:54

The first part in a series on Divila based on correspondence I had with him - http://silhouet.com/...ila/divila.html. More to follow.



#25 AleSi

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Posted 29 April 2020 - 18:49

Is Divila a Portuguese name?

 

Not at all, it is I believe a Czech name.

It czech name, but not very common. However, acording to the statistic, most people with Divila surname lives in region, from which Ricardo´s father came.



#26 Darren Galpin

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 07:00

The 2004 Dakar photo's I mentioned are now available at http://silhouet.com/...ila/divila.html, together with some of Ricardo's commentary on the 2003 Japanese GT Championship, which he won with NISMO. I will be updating this with more shortly - hope to get some comments on the Life F1 effort online tonight.



#27 ghinzani

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 16:38

The 2004 Dakar photo's I mentioned are now available at http://silhouet.com/...ila/divila.html, together with some of Ricardo's commentary on the 2003 Japanese GT Championship, which he won with NISMO. I will be updating this with more shortly - hope to get some comments on the Life F1 effort online tonight.

 

 

Darren if you are on Facebook would you share those comments to the Life Racing Engines group? Would be of great interest. Thank you.
https://www.facebook...90007044379481/



#28 Darren Galpin

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 21:55

Sure - applied to join. In the meantime: http://www.silhouet..../2004-life.html



#29 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 07:16

Darren

 

thanks you so much for posting this material, it is like he is there speaking to you in his idiosyncratic style.

 

He was remarkable.



#30 Darren Galpin

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 07:01

More pictures and comments - the 2004 FD01 rebuild project: http://silhouet.com/.../2004-fd01.html



#31 mariner

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 12:18

I only just saw this, very sad. 

 

I have everything he wrote for Racecar Engineering and, of course he contributed to the technical forum here.

 

I suspect Richard was one of the most intelligent, in true sense, guys in top level racing. He not only spoke 5 or 6 languages but you could see in his writings that he saw world bigger than damper rates and CFD as he worked hos way around the racing teams.



#32 SamoanAttorney

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Posted 04 May 2020 - 14:45

For those of you who might be interested RaceCar Engineering have put together a collection of Ricardo's columns in a digital magazine.

 

You have to sign up to receive a newsletter from them but otherwise it is free.

 

LINK



#33 Darren Galpin

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Posted 10 May 2020 - 21:56

http://silhouet.com/.../2004-jgtc.html - one more update covering Fittipaldi's, JGTC etc. Last one.



#34 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 May 2020 - 07:53

Today would have been his 75th birthday. DOHC has written a lovely birthday tribute to him in the Paddock Club, which he has kindly agreed to me reposting here as not everyone has Paddock Club access:

Once upon a time, before the world came undone, the 30th of May used to be Memorial Day. And it was Raceday, at least in Indianapolis. It was a well-chosen day for a race engineer to be born, and so it was Ricardo Divila’s birthday.

Today, our dear friend RDV would have turned 75. So it’s a day of remembrance, and I just wish I could have sent him my best greetings.

RDV was a most remarkable man. Aside from his racing adventures, he was a polyglot and polymath of the kind you rarely meet. There was hardly a topic he couldn’t discuss with wit and poignant remarks. Many were the debattles we had in the PC, and, at least the way I recall it, they always ended in good humor and sometimes with a big laugh.

We took some discussions off the forum, and also had an interesting email exchange. They ranged from aerodynamics, via equation solving to oversteer. And from opera and philosophy, to existential issues and postmodern nonsense.

I recall asking him how on earth he could be so impossibly well read. He was like a walking encyclopedia with extra downforce. As for myself, I spent my entire career at a half dozen universities, so it was my job to read and collect obscure knowledge. Even so, it seems I never made it to the podium, in spite of the fact that, unlike RDV, I never had any racing duties or car setup problems to solve every weekend; instead I could watch the spectacle on TV, and if the race turned out boring, I could always return to my library.

So how did he become such a polymath? He answered, “Well, you know, the races take place all over the world, and the flights are awfully long. One’s gotta do something. I bring a famous tome, and I read it.” He had a lifelong commitment to learning, at the University of the Skies.

It would be readily visible in his columns in Racecar Engineering. Once, many years ago, we had been discussing the viability of racing with electric cars. I wrote my usual verbose musings over the lack of appeal when the noise would primarily consist of screeching tyres; my claim was that the true identity of racing was to be found in thermodynamics, the hysterical scream of combustion engines, and the spectacle of vehicles never making it to the checkered flag but instead expiring in smoke and flames. I threw in a simile of Icarus unwisely riding the thermonuclear kerbs, but such is racing. Ricardo wrote back with a chuckle, and asked if he could use my text for his next column. And so it happened that I got a small piece of text published -- in his name, of course! -- in a reputable racing magazine. For him, it was completely natural. For me, it was kind of magic.

We figured that we might have crossed paths 44 years ago, at the 1976 Swedish GP, back in the day when you could actually walk through the pits. RDV worked for a long time with the Fittipaldi brothers, and to honor Ricardo I change my avatar to a picture I took of Emerson Fittipaldi at that race, in his Copersucar FD04, which Ricardo designed when he was 30. In my eyes, the lines reveal a certain inspiration taken from Maurice Philipe, and developed in an interesting way.

We shared an interest in old maps. They could have geographical mistakes, unusual projections, pre-Greenwich longitudes or other obscure features. The last mail I got from Ricardo a couple of months ago had a few of such maps that he had found in some dark corner of the web. Sadly, I didn’t reply. When I instead learned that he had passed away, I felt it was the end of an epoch. Not so much at Atlas, but more in retrospect. He had spent 50 years in racing, and racing ain’t what it used to be. I think Ricardo was very much a product of his times. Unforgettable. Unbelievable. Unstoppable.

Godspeed, Ricardo! We’ll miss you, whether you’re on or off the track.



#35 sstiel

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Posted 31 May 2020 - 09:47

Can completely understand why Emerson Fittipaldi did what he did for the 1976 Formula One season. Brazilian team with your name on the car and designed by a talented designer who has been your friend.