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 1989.
After the Turbo engines were announced to be banned new engineering companies saw their changes to design an build their own F1 engine. So did the French automotive engineer Guy Nègre. He established MGN (Moteurs Guy Nègre) and started working on the MGN-01 W12 engine “the best of the V10 and V12 combined”. There was only one problem. There was no car to test the engine. AGS, with a new owner, was ready to cash in by selling one of their old JH22 chassis.
The JH22 was now fitted with the MGN W12 engine and transported to a 2km long club track named Circuit du Grand Sambuc. Phillipe Billot was the lucky one to give the car a go. While the engine hold it’s stand, Guy Nègre was shocked by the lack of power. In the end, no teams were interested in the W12. However, the MGN W12 engine would appear later in a Norma M6 sportscar.
There are people who consider the EuroBrun ER188B as raced. However, the car never managed to qualify itself, which automatically qualifies itself as a proper unraced machine in my book. The ER188B was an evolution of the EuroBrun ER188 that managed to qualify most of the races in 1988. In 1989, the Swiss Gregor Foitek would race for the team. The ER188B was powered by the Judd CV V8 engine. It is debatable if Foitek was the driver to hire, though he had money, money the team badly needed. Later in the season, the EuroBrun ER 189 arrived.
George Ryton penned EuroBrun’s newest car. In an attempt to bring the team, some results. The first two races Foitek tried to qualify the car, without success. The rest of the season Oscar Larrauri would take over the wheel. In a desperate attempt to qualify the car for a race. Sadly, Larrauri wasn’t able to qualify the car. Which made it, as far as I know, one of the worse results a team scored in a season. For 1990, George Ryton updated the car and the ER189B finished the first race of the season 13th. Roberto Moreno managed, miraculous, to qualify the car. It was the best result in 1990.
First Racing was active in the lower Formulae series before the team decided it was ready to compete in the Formula 1. Lamberto Leoni ordered late Richard Divila to design the car. The First 189 followed the design of the March 881. With the low placed side pods and slim line chassis. Respectively Marco Apicella and Pierluigi Martini were rumoured to be the driver in 1989. Later the names of Gabriele Tarquini and Julian Bailey were rumoured. The car was completed on time and was given a shake-down at Misano on the 5th of December 1988 by Gabriele Tarquini.
On the entry list of 1989 Julian Bailey was written down as the second driver. Two days after Tarquini drove with the car he appeared on the 7th of December at the Bologna motor show. However, the team would not appear on the grid after all. The chassis was dangerous and there was not enough financial backing. However, it was rumoured that Silvio Berlusconi was involved as well via Fininvest.
Already in 1988 the announcement was made that Subaru was eyeing towards the Formula One. The company had plans to create their own F1 engine after the Turbo era ended. However, the engines were far from Subaru self. It were batched Motori Moderni units. The same that were fitted in the Coloni C3B and C3C a year later. Paolo Barilla and Gianni Morbidelli did most of the testing, with the Minardi-Subaru M189. It would be only tested a couple of times in 1989. As said before, the engines found their way to Coloni to be tested with.
I’m not 100% sure if this car is has the unraced stamp. The Reynard M89 was designed by Adrian Newey. In fact the Reynard M89 was an Formula 3000 racer. Which was now fitted with F1-size wheels and powered by the Mugen 3,5-litre V8 engine. The car was used as a tyre platform for Bridgestone.