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ATS (wheels)

 

ATS (wheels)

ATS
Full name ATS Wheels
Base Germany
Founder(s) Günter Schmid
Noted staff Robin Herd
Giacomo Caliri
Gustav Brunner
Jo Ramírez
Noted drivers Jean-Pierre Jarier
Keke Rosberg
Manfred Winkelhock
Eliseo Salazar
Gerhard Berger
Formula One World Championship career
First entry 1977 United States Grand Prix West
Races entered 101
Constructors'
Championships
0
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories 0 (best finish: 5th, 1979 United States Grand Prix and 1982 Brazilian and San Marino Grands Prix)
Pole positions 0 (best grid position: 4th, 1980 United States Grand Prix West)
Fastest laps 0
Final entry 1984 Portuguese Grand Prix

ATS was a German Formula One team, named after German alloy wheel brand Auto Technisches Spezialzubehör. The company is based in Bad Dürkheim near the Hockenheimring, its team was active in Formula One from 1977 to 1984.

Contents

  • Wheel manufacturer 1
  • Formula One team 2
    • The 1970s 2.1
    • The 1980s 2.2
    • BMW engines 2.3
    • Comeback with Rial 2.4
  • Complete Formula One World Championship results 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Wheel manufacturer

ATS stamp on the back spoke of a circa 1984 AMG alloy wheel.

The ATS company created some revolutionary new lightweight wheels for Porsche and VW automobiles. ATS manufactured a light aluminum alloy 5 spoked wheel for AMG, the high performance tuner for Mercedes-Benz automobiles, in the 1970s and 1980s. This 5 spoked wheel is popularly known as the AMG "Penta" wheel. The AMG "Penta" spoked wheel by ATS, designed by Hans-Werner Aufrecht in 1979, was the first aluminum alloy rim marketed by AMG when it was still an independent tuning company.

Formula One team

ATS owner Günter Schmid had sponsored various national motorsport events, before realising Grand Prix racing was an ideal way of promoting his brand. Due to his temper, Schmid was notoriously difficult to work with, and a rapid turnover of staff plagued ATS for their entire history.

The 1970s

In 1977, ATS purchased the remaining PC4 chassis from Penske Racing. Jean-Pierre Jarier was signed to drive the car, placing 6th on the team's debut at the United States Grand Prix West.

A second car was entered in the Hans Binder would then take the second car for the rest of the season, though the team missed the final three races of the year.

Michael Bleekemolen testing the ATS HS1 at Zandvoort in 1978

Robin Herd from March Engineering was enlisted to build the first genuine ATS Formula One car, the HS1 being driven by Jarier and Jochen Mass. Jarier came 8th at the South African Grand Prix, but was fired after an argument with Schmidt, and replaced by Alberto Colombo for the Belgian Grand Prix. After two failures to qualify, Colombo was also fired, and replaced by Keke Rosberg until the German Grand Prix. There, Jarier returned, having patched up his differences with Schmid, only for them to re-emerge follow Jarier's failure to qualify. Binder returned for one race, before Michael Bleekemolen took over.

By now Mass had also left following a broken leg in testing. As Harald Ertl had failed to pre-qualify his Ensign for the 1978 Italian Grand Prix, he was given another chance with the first ATS. Ertl didn't qualify for the race, and Rosberg returned for the final two races. The lack of continuity both in the cars and in the garage had been no help to the fledgling team, despite the introduction of the new D1 chassis. The D1 was designed by John Gentry, and featured skirts, wider track and side pods.[1] The D1 was used in the last two races of the 1978 season.[1]

1979 saw Hans-Joachim Stuck arrive, to drive a single car. The new Giacomo Caliri-designed D2 arrived mid-season but it was an ill-handling car,[1] with Stuck taking the team's only points score of the season with 5th place at the United States Grand Prix in another new car, the D3, courtesy of Nigel Stroud.

The 1980s

The team stepped up to a two-car operation again in 1980, with Marc Surer and Jan Lammers signed to drive the D3. Surer took 7th at the Brazilian Grand Prix, while Lammers started 4th before retiring at the United States Grand Prix West, but the team were still distinct midfielders, even after the introduction of the new Gustav Brunner-penned D4. From the US GP West, they were back down to a single car, with Surer injured, though he returned in the French Grand Prix, this time replacing Lammers. Once again, though, the team failed to score points.

1981 saw Lammers recalled to drive a single D4, with a second fielded for Slim Borgudd had appeared on some ABBA recordings as a drummer.

Schmid made a major effort to get the team together for 1982. Two D5 cars (a heavily upgraded version of the HGS1) were fielded for Manfred Winkelhock and Eliseo Salazar. This bought better results, with Winkelhock 5th at the Brazilian Grand Prix and Salazar 5th at the San Marino Grand Prix (Winkelhock would have taken 6th at this race, boycotted by most British teams due to a political crisis within the sport, but his car was underweight). While the team were improving, they were midfielders more than anything else. Indeed, the team's most high-profile moment came when Salazar was attacked by Nelson Piquet on live television at the German Grand Prix, the ATS driver having collided with the race-leading Brazilian while being lapped.

BMW engines

However, Schmid used his muscle in the German auto industry to secure a supply of BMW's powerful BMW M12/13 4-cylinder turbocharged engine for 1983. ATS fielded a single new Gustav Brunner D6 for Winkelhock. There were some excellent qualifying positions and races from the German, but the constant turnover of backroom staff meant that reliability issues were never solved, and 8th place at the European Grand Prix was his best result.

For 1984, Brunner's new D7 chassis was introduced, but it was largely the same story, with not inconsiderable speed rarely rewarded, not helped by Brunner quitting after, predictably, yet another an argument with Schmid. Winkelhock ran 3rd at the Belgian Grand Prix before the electrical system failed, but his best finishes were 8th places in the Canadian Grand Prix and the Dallas Grand Prix. From the Austrian Grand Prix, a second D7 was added for Gerhard Berger. After a gearbox failure on the grid at the Italian Grand Prix, Winkelhock finally lost patience and quit. In the race, Berger placed 6th, but the point was not awarded as the second entry had not been registered at the start of the season. Berger entered the last two races alone, with Winkelhock not replaced.

At the end of the year, BMW revoked the use of their engines due to the bad PR the team and its owner generated, and Schmidt folded the ATS team as well as leaving the ATS company.[1]

Comeback with Rial

Having established a new brand of wheels with Rial, Schmid would return to Formula One in 1988 with the team of the same name.

Complete Formula One World Championship results

() (Results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Points WCC
1977 Penske PC4 Ford DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP MON BEL SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN JPN 1 12th
Jean-Pierre Jarier 34 6 DNQ 11 11 8 Ret 9 Ret 14 Ret Ret
Hans Heyer 35 DSQ*
Hans Binder 8
33 12 DNQ
1978 ATS HS1
ATS D1
Ford DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW MON BEL ESP SWE FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA USA CAN 0 NC
Jochen Mass 9 11 7 Ret Ret DNQ 11 9 13 13 NC Ret DNQ DNQ
Michael Bleekemolen DNQ Ret DNPQ
10 DNQ
Jean-Pierre Jarier 12 DNS 8 11 DNQ DNQ
Alberto Colombo DNQ DNQ
Keke Rosberg 15 16 Ret Ret NC
Hans Binder DNQ
Harald Ertl DNPQ
1979 ATS D2
ATS D3
Ford DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW ESP BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 2 11th
Hans-Joachim Stuck 9 DNQ Ret Ret DSQ 14 8 Ret DNS DNQ Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret 5
1980 ATS D3
ATS D4
Ford DFV
V8
G ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 0 NC
Marc Surer 9 Ret 7 DNS Ret Ret 12 12 10 Ret DNQ 8
Jan Lammers Ret 12 NC
10 DNQ DNQ DNQ
Harald Ertl DNQ
1981 ATS D4
ATS HGS1
Ford DFV
V8
M
A
USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 1 12th
Jan Lammers 9 Ret DNQ 12 DNQ
Slim Borgudd DNQ DNPQ DNQ DNQ 6 Ret Ret 10 Ret Ret DNQ
10 13
1982 ATS D5 Ford DFV
V8
G RSA BRA USW SMR BEL MON DET CAN NED GBR FRA GER AUT SUI ITA CPL 4 11th
Manfred Winkelhock 9 10 5 Ret DSQ Ret Ret Ret DNQ 12 DNQ 11 Ret Ret Ret DNQ NC
Eliseo Salazar 10 9 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 DNQ Ret Ret DNQ 14 9 DNQ
1983 ATS D6 BMW M12/13
S4 (t/c)
G BRA USW FRA SMR MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 0 NC
Manfred Winkelhock 9 15 Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret DNQ Ret DSQ Ret 8 Ret
1984 ATS D7 BMW M12/13
S4 (t/c)
P BRA RSA BEL SMR FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 0 NC
Manfred Winkelhock 14 EX Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret 8 Ret Ret DNS Ret DNS
Gerhard Berger 13
31 12 6† Ret

* Started illegally, having failed to qualify.
† Ineligible for points.

References

  1. ^ a b c d Hodges, David (1990). A-Z of Formula Racing Cars. Bideford, UK: Bay View Books. p. 279.  

External links

  • ATS website with Motorsport history
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