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Sir Frank Williams

FRANK WILLIAMS has received a knighthood in Britain's New Year's Day Honors List. He becomes only the second man to receive a knighthood for services to motor racing - the first being Australian Jack Brabham, who became Sir Jack in the New╩Year's╩Honors List in 1979.

Williams is 56 and raced in the late 1960s without much money and without success. He decided to move into team management and ran his first Formula 1 operation in 1969. For the next 10 years the team reappeared in a variety of different guises but there was never much money and success was limited. It was not until Frank joined forces with struggling engineer Patrick Head that the Williams team took off - largely thanks to the remarkable FW07 design with which Alan╩Jones won the 1980 Formula 1 World Championship and this was followed by titles in 1982 (Keke Rosberg), 1987 (Nelson Piquet), 1992 (Nigel Mansell), 1993 (Alain Prost), 1996 (Damon Hill) and 1997 (Jacques Villeneuve). The team has also won a record nine Constructors' World titles, one more than Ferrari and McLaren.

These would have been impressive achievements enough but Williams has achieved much of his success while confined to a wheelchair, having been permanently paralysed in a road accident in 1986. Despite this he has maintained his leadership of the Williams team.

The New Year's Honors List also resulted in a life peerage for Ford's retiring chairman and chief executive Sir Alex╩Trotman. This means that he will be able to sit in the House of Lords in the British Parliament.

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