Unraced projects of the 1987 season

Projects 1970 - 1999

As there are over 650 Unraced F1 projects from the period 1885 – 2020 I decided before to publish articles of unraced projects per year. This is easier for you to see which attempts happened a specific year. Of course, it is easier for me as well as researching and writing an article takes a lot of time, which I don’t always have.  If you are interested in one of the summarized attempts perhaps, I can give you more info about it.This is the summarized overview of the Unraced projects in 1987.

Alfa Romeo 185
In 1985 Alfa Romeo drove their last season as a team with the 184TB and later on in the season with the 185T. The result were zero points for the team. It wasn’t the teams line up. As Ricardo Patrese and Eddie Cheever were the drivers. The years to come the team would only supply several teams with their Alfa Romeo V8 engine. For their testing purpose, the team developed for 1987 a brand new chassis. Well brand new, it was basically the Alfa Romeo 185T that was used in 1985. The “new” 185 made it’s debut in 1986 at Balocco and was fitted with the new engine Ligier would use in 1987.

René Arnoux and Giorgio Francia tested regularly with the car to improve the engine. However, Ligier would ditch Alfa Romeo as engine supplier. Due the negative comments of Arnoux regarding the engine. Ligier would use the Megatron engines, former BMW, and Osella would take the Alfa Romeo engines. The comments of Arnoux meant as well the end of the engine program.

FORCE Lola – Ford THL3
Haas Lola (officially Team Haas Ltd. or better known as Beatrice Force made it’s debut in 1985 with Alan Jones. Jones the former world champion wasn’t able to show decent results with the THL1. The THL2 in 1986 was much better and Jones scored some decent scored a fourth and sixth place. Patrick Tambay completed it by finishing fifth during the Austrian Grand Prix.  At the end of the season, Beatrice would leave the team as sponsor, resulting Carl Haas to find new sponsors for the team to continue into the 1987 season. For 1987, the team already had a deal with Ford to use their V6 engines.

The THL3 was the first car from Adrian Newey designed on his own, some designer that would make championship winning cars the next decades to come. Sadly, no new main sponsor was found and Carl Haas had no other option than closing his F1 team and return to the states. It is unknown what has happened with the drawings. Bernie Ecclestone bought the team after it was closed down. Perhaps some of the design were used with the Brabham.

Ligier – Alfa Romeo JS29
The Unraced Ligier, the car that was to be powered by the new straight-four twin-turbo engine designed by Gianni Tonti. After René Arnoux only spoke negatively about the engine, the team decided to ditch the engine. In a hurry, the team decided to use the Megatron engines, which were former BMW engines. It was bad news for Piercarlo Ghinzani, he was part of the package deal. However, now he was forced to race with old engines instead of brand new once.

Middlebridge Benetton-BMW B186 / Trussardi-BMW B186
Probably you heard of the Middlebridge Benetton–BMW B186 or the Trussardi–BMW B186. It depends on where you live I believe. Some even say it was to be Benetton’s Junior or B-Team at that time. What’s certain is that John MacDonald was involved with the team. Middlebridge would use the Benneton B186 powered by the BMW engine and financially supported by Trussardi. While Emanuele Pirro was rumoured to be the driver, MacDonald stated at Autosport magazine that he was only talking with Pirro, and did not understand were the rumours came from. While the car was already completed and even shown to the public. The FOCA did not allow the team to debut. Which could have been the last private entry in F1 with Pirro.