It is an enviable record, with five British Touring Car championships (with BMW, Alfa Romeo and Ford), six World Rally wins (with Subaru) and some creditable F1 results.

In essence it is a chronicle of the work of one man, former rally driver David Richards, and his is one of the great success stories of the motor industry and the "home team" in racing and rallying.

While we bewail the sad demise of MG Rover and argue the toss about the Phoenix Four, we should also remember that it is the less high-profile businesses such as Richards' Prodrive that, through their specialist engineering and consultancy expertise, are creating a skills base that, while narrower than the old industry's, is much better insulated from the emerging challenges from China and India, let alone established players in America, Europe and Japan.

It is a lesson that the mildly dyslexic but commercially gifted Richards has obviously learnt well.

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