Shadow Racing Cars was a Formula One and sports car racing team from Britain.
1971-1972: Early years in CanAm series
The company was founded by Don Nichols in 1971 as Advance Vehicle Systems; the cars were called Shadows, designed by Trevor Harris and entered under the Shadow Racing Cars banner. The first Shadow, the Mk.I, was entered in the CanAm series with George Follmer and Vic Elford driving them. The Mk.1 featured an innovative design, using very small wheels for low drag and although the car was quick, it wasn't the most reliable car in the field
The team became more competitive the following year, with Jackie Oliver finishing eighth in the CanAm championship. The team also found some finanical backing in Universal Oil Products (UOP).
1973-1974: Entry into Formula One
Towards the end of 1972, Nichols annouced that he was entering his team into Formula One with UOP sponsored cars designed by Tony Southgate, who had designed the BRM that gave Jean-Pierre Beltoise victory at the Monaco Grand Prix the previous year.
The team debuted in Formula One at the 1973 South African Grand Prix with the DN1 chassis. Two cars were available for drivers Jackie Oliver and George Follmer, as well as a private entry for Graham Hill who ran his car under the Embassy Hill banner.
For 1974, the team hired two of the most promising drivers of the time: American Peter Revson and Frenchman Jean-Pierre Jarier. During a practice run for the South African Grand Prix Revson was killed by a suspension failure on his DN3.
1975-1977: Peak of success
The new DN5 made the pole driven by Jean-Pierre Jarier in the two first Grand Prix the 1975 season but had mechanical failure in both races. Jarier new teammate Tom Pryce showed his talent by winning the non-championship Race of Champions that same year. Pryce however, died of a freak accident at the 1977 South African Grand Prix.
The team replaced Pryce with Alan Jones, who won the team's only Grand Prix at the Austrian Grand Prix the same year.
Following the departure of Jones to Williams and a majority of their staff leaving to form their own team, Arrows, the Shadow team started to decline sharply and in 1980 they were absorbed by Theodore Racing, but lack of money meant the team was broken up by mid-season.