Roly began his career in Motorsport in 1972 at the age of 15 when he joined Maranello Ferrarri and developed skills to become a gearbox and engine builder. During this period, Roly started his racing career with friend and racing driver, Richard Wager. In 1978, Roly developed his career as a race mechanic for RALT cars becoming the youngest person to run the race shop. Ron Tauranac, ex owner at Brabhams and designer and owner of RALT cars, mentored Roly in race engineering and design.
In 1980 Roly joined RAM racing in the British Formula 1, running a Williams with Emilio de Villota and winning the championship.
Roly continued his success at Brabham MRD becoming part of the multi championship-winning team with Nelson Piquet and Riccardo Patrese.
In 1985, Roly was asked by Peter Warr (and friend from Formula 3, Ayrton Senna) to join Team Lotus to develop a new Formula One gear-box. Early success with the new team resulted in Ayrton Senna winning his first Formula One race. In 1986, aged 29, Roly took on the position of workshop supervisor overseeing: research and development, composites, fabrication and machining, pattern making, sub-assembly and inspection. This gave Roly the skills and expertise to become a race engineer.
In 1989, Roly went on to become Dick Bennett’s race-engineer at West Surrey Racing. Roly achieved success in his first year with Alan McNish, Dereck Higgins and Mika Hakkinen.
In 1990 Roly became development engineer for Reynard Racing cars having early success with the new Reynard 923 and driver Gil De Ferran (Michael Schumacher). During this year, Roly allowed Franco Fratton M.D. of Dynamic Suspension to use his workshop and damper dyno to start his new company allowing Roly to see the latest damper technology.
At the end of 1990, Reynard Racing and Team Lotus assisted Roly with starting a new company called P1 Engineering (the Lotus Junior team). This became the first of many subsequent junior teams. During 1990 to 2010, Roly and his team assisted the development of other successful race teams including: Team Astromega, Arden, KTR, Nordic, Pacific, Lola cars, Van Dieman Racing, Comtec Racing.
In 2002, Roly’s new team, P1 Motorsport entered Formula 3. Once more, Roly achieved many successes with drivers such as: Adam Carroll, Ernesto Viso, Dinilo Dirani and Salvador Duran. On return to Formula 3, one of the many highlights of the year was P1’s success with Robert Dahlgren who achieved outright pole-position in a scholarship class car.
Roly, as race engineer, directed Comtec Racing to success (winning the Championship) in their first year of Renault World Series with Alex Danielson. In 2008 Roly and P1 entered Renault World Series with Giedo Van Der Garde winning a second Championship title.