Rial Racing was established in 1988 as Formula One constructor. Rial is a German producer of light allow wheels and rims, which was bought by Günter Schmid in 1987. Ex owner of the ATS Wheels company and the ATS Formula One team. Under his lead Rial debuted in the Formula One in 1988. In 1989 the team already left the Formula One. Though not before they already started working on the ARC3 for 1990.
Günter Schmid’s plan was to gain attention for the Rial company by entered the Formula One as constructor. Günter contracted Gustav Brunner, old designer of the ATS cars, to pen the first Rial F1 car the Rial ARC1. A Cosworth DFZ engine powered this car. During pre-season testing, the ARC1 (also named the blue Ferrari) looked promising. In addition, so were the results for the new team. Andrea de Cesaris was the driver for the team. And scored a 4th place during the 1988 Detroit Grand prix, as well some nice top ten results. Remember back then only the top six received points.
For 1989, Günter Schmid expanded the team with two cars, with Andrea leaving to Dallara German drivers Christan Danner and Volker Weidler were the drivers for the team. The Rial ARC2 was basically an updated ARC1. As Brunner left the team already during the German Grand Prix in 1988, Bob Bell, bot Bob Bell of Mclaren, became Rial’s new designer who simply updated the ARC1. The car was a failure, highlighted was Christian Danner’s fourth place during the Canadian Grand Prix. Later both Danner and Weidler would leave the team. Gregor Foitek, Bertrand Gachot and Pierre-Henri Raphanel would do the last few races for the team.
At the end of the season it was clear that Günter Schmid was to close down the Rial Racing division due lack of results. Even though at the end of 1989 Christian van der Pleyn was attracted as new designer for the team. As far as I know Bob Bell didn’t do much for the team and left the team during the season.
There is almost no mention of Christian Vanderpleyn working for the Rial Racing team in late 1989. However, he did work for the team. Moreover, there was already some work done on the Rial ARC3. The successor of the ARC2. It was until late January 1990 that Günther Schmid decided to withdraw the team from the Formula One. So it isn’t that strange that work was already done on the ARC3. The only problem is there is few info left over the ARC3. It is just until recent I knew about the ARC3 was already penned, unconfirmed the ARC3 would have been powered by the Cosworth and Bertrand Gachot and perhaps Tarquini would be the drivers.
Is there more known about the ARC3? Well this is a tricky question. As I understood the ARC3 was penned in quiet detail, and it wouldn’t be impossible some parts of the car were already build. What I do know is that the ARC3 never appeared on the track as the ARC3. It seems Christian vanderPleyn used some of his designs of the ARC3 for the AGS JH26 he designed in 1991. The AGS JH26 never appeared on the track. To make it more complicated, some of the designs could have been found back as well on the Larrousse of 1992… yes It is possible. Just read the story about the AGS JH26. And in theory also no the AGS JH27!
To make it even more complicated, there is a chance that some of the designs have been worked out in the Life Racing L190. At the end of 1989 rumours went that First (former Life Racing) and Rial were to merge both teams. I do know that some exchanges of information have been happened, though I can’t proof this for 100% at the moment.