Mo Nunn, Ensign owner, after difficult 1976 season managed to compile a budget big enough to build a new car. The car itself was a further evolution of the existing N176 with detail design changes only. The sponsorship money came from Teddy Yip, whose Theodore team ran a new N177 for Patrick Tambay in the second half of the year. Three cars were built in 1977. The 1977 cars were re-used the following season (and one more was built in 1978) by a colourful mix of drivers and sponsors. One car was updated with the latest ground-effect tunnels but this did not improve the performance much. In 1978 the team entered cars for Danny Ongais and Lamberto Leoni, but Ongais left after two races and Leoni after four races. Jacky Ickx contested the next four races and Derek Daly raced the rest of the season scoring a point in Canada. Also in 1978 Nelson Piquet made his debut in Formula 1 at the German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring driving an Ensign. Daly appeared in Ensign in the French Grand Prix, but not qualified for the race. The Irish driver made his first F1 start at the next round in the British Grand Prix held at Brands Hatch. In N177 sponsored by auto parts manufacturer Mopar Daly was 15th on the grid, but retired in the mid-race. Then Derek was disqualified in Austria for the push start. At Zandvoort Daly’s car received new sponsor, ICI Chemicals. Daly was 16th out of 26 cars in qualifying, but the race did not last long – transmission failure stopped Daly after 10 laps.
|Derek Daly||22||Team Tissot Ensign|