1963 ATS Tipo 100

There are confident, bold claims based upon intuition and gut feelings, and then there are asinine predictions made on the basis of bitterness and revenge. While such frustrations may be justified, the later prediction rarely turns out good for the offended party. And in the case of Automobili Turismo e Sport, it meant one of the biggest embarrassments in Formula One history.

It was no real surprise that Enzo Ferrari wasn't exactly the greatest 'people person' in the world. He was certainly a great engineer and designer and that doesn't necessarily translate into a great person with other people. More than a few people would be frustrated in their time of employment under Ferrari. However, at the end of the 1961 season Ferrari would suffer his worse fallout ever.

In terms of a labor strike, what would be staged at the end of the 1961 season could not have been more effective. More than just one episode led to the fallout at the end of the season. There was the influence of Enzo's wife, Enzo's poor people skills, the handling of Wolfgang von Trips' funeral, these were just some of the moments that stirred the kettle to a boil. What resulted is that no less than eight members of Ferrari, including team manager Romano Tavoni and designer Carlo Chiti, would walk out on Enzo at the end of the year.

The eight men wouldn't merely walk out on Ferrari, they would strike out on their own to start their own manufacturing company with Tavoni declaring they would beat Ferrari. In many ways, without having even started their own company, they had, at least, caused a setback for Ferrari.

Phil Hill would find the 1962 season very difficult and downright frustrating at time because of the results of the fallout. Such key people having left at such a late moment meant Ferrari would be left on the back foot heading into the upcoming season, and this would leave Hill disillusioned about spending any more time with the team he had become World Champion.

At the same time Hill was growing disillusioned at Ferrari, Chiti and Tavoni were busy partnering with Count Giovanni Volpi di Misurati to form Societa per Azioni Automobili Turismo e Sport Serenissima.

What should have been a sign for all involved, egos and disagreements would abound between the Ferrari eight, Volpi and the other backers in the investment at the time. As a result of the clashes, at the last minute, Volpi would pull out of the deal leaving the eight to either give up on the whole idea or go it all alone. But the bitterness and the desire to beat Ferrari ran too deep for the men to give up on the whole idea. Instead, the men would carry on to form Automobili Turismo e Sport.

Initially, things were looking quite good. Perhaps it was possible for the servants to change places with the master. Chiti had gone right out and located a factory at the Sasso Marconi site near Bologna. It would take little to no time at all before Chiti would not only design a car but also an in-house V8 engine as well.

Things would look even brighter for the upstart team when Phil Hill's frustrations led him to a very important moment in his racing career. The American had had enough of Ferrari not being competitive and his relationship with the sporting director Eugenio Dragoni was less than warm. Meanwhile, the eight protestors seemed to be progressing rapidly toward an eventual goal of beating Ferrari. Therefore, Hill would make the decision to come and join the eight in their new operation.

The whole thing seemed less and less like a fool's errand when not only Phil Hill would join the team, but also, Giancarlo Baghetti signed to drive. Baghetti had had the distinction of being a grand prix winner in his very first race, and therefore, seemed like a talented driver for the future.

Having designed Hill's championship winning 156 for 1961', Chiti certainly wasn't incapable of getting to work and designing a competitive car. And, what would result would certainly look good to the untrained eye.

Chiti would keep to the same design principles he had used with the 156 when he designed what would become known as the ATS Tipo 100. The Ferrari 156 had a low center of gravity and good stable handling as a result of the use of a 120 degree engine layout. Now, for the ATS chassis, Chiti would only have a 90 degree V8 engine to use. However, Chiti would design a spaceframe chassis that was incredibly low thereby giving the car a very low center of gravity and good stability.

While Chiti's design at Ferrari would become famous for its twin-nostril design, his effort at ATS would sport a small, neat, oval-shaped radiator inlet. A long, slender, cigar-shaped nose gave the nose of the ATS 100 very lovely and appealing lines.

Coil sprung, double wishbone suspension provided the control and stability the car would need at all four wheels. Disc brakes on all four corners meant the car had the braking power necessary to utilize all of the power being developed by the V8 engine.

The engine in which Chiti would produce would displace just under 1.5-liters. It would be completed with twin overhead cams and would sport four Weber carburetors helping to boost the engine's power to a supposed 190bhp at around 10,000rpm.

Complete with a Colotti six-speed gearbox and weighing in at just around a thousand pounds, the ATS Tipo 100 would certainly give Hill and Baghetti the feel as though they were sitting in a future championship winning car.

The car really was a beautiful looking car. Sitting down behind the large, one-piece aerodynamic windscreen, the driver would find they were driving a very tight, neat package. However, by 1963, not all was well with the car and it was clear there was still a lot of work to be done to it.

Issues would arise that would cause the team to miss the first round of the championship that year. However, the team needed to show itself soon in order to keep Ferrari from believing to have won. Therefore, the car would make its way to the Belgian Grand Prix held at Spa-Francorchamps, the second round of the championship for '63. Interestingly, the team would not arrive in the paddock like the rest of the teams. Instead, the team would stop off in Malmedy to put the finishing touches to its car. This seemed to suggest to many the team was rather embarrassed by what it had produced to that point in time. Even if this were true, then the car's performance on track the following days would only let everyone else in on the embarrassing tale.

The fastest time set in practice around the 8.77 mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit would be set by Graham Hill in a BRM. His time would be 3:54.1. Amongst the ATS drivers, Phil Hill would be the fastest. However, his best lap time would be nowhere near the pace of Hill's. Hill's best lap of 4:06.7 would be no less than 12 seconds slower around the circuit and would lead to Hill starting down on the 7th row of the grid in the 17th position. Things would be worse for Baghetti. His best effort would be nearly 30 seconds slower, but not of Graham Hill, but of Phil. This meant Giancarlo would start the race from dead-last, 20th place.

If the starting places weren't embarrassing enough then the actual race would leave the ATS team crying for mercy. Starting out at the rear of the field, Baghetti was already looking at a losing prospect. However, when the Colotti gearbox failed after just 7 laps it would certainly seem as though the losing prospect had somehow turned worse.

Unfortunately for former World Champion Phil Hill, the move to ATS would prove to be unsuccessful as well as his race would last just about 5 laps longer than his teammate's before gearbox failure also brought his day to an end. Perhaps the only saving grace on the day would be the fact that none of the Ferraris would complete the race distance either.

The remainder of the season faired about as well as the team's debut. Wheel failure and engine troubles would mark the team's Dutch Grand Prix. Over the course of the next three rounds of the World Championship for 1963 ATS would be absent. However, the team could not miss the Italian Grand Prix. It would have been a worse embarrassment not to show no matter what condition the car had been at that point.

Qualifying would fare the same for Baghetti for the Italian Grand Prix as it did for the car's debut at Spa. Giancarlo would find himself nearly 9 seconds off the pace of John Surtees' pole-sitting Ferrari. This would lead to Baghetti being forced to start from dead last once again.

Phil Hill, however, would look a whole bit stronger this time than in his debut with the team. When it was all said and done, Hill would be just about 5 seconds off of Surtees' pace. This would lead to Hill starting from the 7th row of the grid in the 14th position overall. Although the pace in practice would certainly be an improvement upon what he had achieved in Belgium, it would still be rather disappointing.

Though practice would prove to be something of an improvement, the actual race would be the greatest improvement yet. Baghetti would find his day rough going but he would manage to carry on through to the checkered flag. Unfortunately, he would only be 23 laps behind when the checkered flag flew.

Hill, on the other hand, had a much more enjoyable race. Although he too would find himself more than a couple of laps behind eventual winner Jim Clark, the race would still go much better than the Belgian Grand Prix. In this case, Hill would finish the race 7 laps down but in 11th place.

This would prove to be the highlight for the team intent on rubbing Enzo's face in their sweet success. Early retirements for both at Watkins Glen and in Mexico spelled the end for the team which was already running into financial difficulties.

Although ATS would not disappear and would go on to produce a successful sportscar line, the effort to get revenge against the former employer would end with a group of 10 individuals leaving the Formula One scene with their tails between their legs.

'1962 Tipo 100-Formula 1', (http://www.ats-autosport.com/company/history/tipo100/). ATS-Autosport.com. http://www.ats-autosport.com/company/history/tipo100/. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'Rebels Without Speed: The ATS Fiasco', (http://www.f1rejects.com/centrale/submitted/ats/index.html). F1Rejects.com. http://www.f1rejects.com/centrale/submitted/ats/index.html. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'Derrington Francis ATS GP', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/3080/Derrington-Francis-ATS-GP.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/3080/Derrington-Francis-ATS-GP.html. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'1963 Season', (http://www.manipef1.com/seasons/1963/). ManipeF1. http://www.manipef1.com/seasons/1963/. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

By Jeremy McMullen

1964 Derrington Francis ATS Tipo 100

By the end of the 1963 season the mutinous former Ferrari employees would give up on their Formula One aspirations. There would be, however, what appeared to be a good looking car just waiting for someone to come along and believe in it all over again. In the end, a displaced Polish immigrant to the UK would believe enough in what he saw to take a chance.

After surviving the Second World War as part of the Polish 1st Armoured Division, Alf Francis would change his nationality to British and would take an interest in motor racing. In time, Francis would become a Formula One driver in his own right. However, he would be better known as Stirling Moss' mechanic.

Given Moss' achievements on the track, Francis would earn a good reputation as a mechanic, and this would give him the confidence that he could take a defunct car and turn it into a competitive machine.

ATS' quick rise and fall left a couple of fully-intact chassis in which Francis could come to own. He would choose one of them and would set about taking stock of just what he had on his hands. Upon inspection of the car, Francis would come to decide that he liked the look of the car, but it felt something was off with the balance of the car. However, to be able to introduce the kind of changes he was thinking, Francis would turn to a couple of others for their help.

Francis would soon enlist help from one Vic Derrington. He would also gain support from Maserati's Valerio Colotti. Francis would make the decision to keep most all of the mechanicals of the car the same as it had been the year before driving under the ATS banner. However, Francis would determine to make some changes to the spaceframe chassis and to introduce fuel injection to the V8 engine.

Having the help of Derrington, Francis would set about making his changes to the spaceframe chassis. He determined the wheelbase of the ATS 100 could and should be shortened by a good deal to create a much more stable and balanced car. The shortening of the wheelbase was not going to be a small endeavor given what Francis had in mind.

Working on the Trellis framework, Francis and Derrington would set about shortening the car's wheelbase by a rather impressive 15cm. Once completed, the men would turn their focus toward the Lucas Fuel Injection system. This addition to the car's engine and fuel system purportedly added some 10hp to the engine's 190bhp figure.

In spite of the troubles the car had the previous season with its gearbox, the relationship Francis had come to develop with Colotti made things difficult. Therefore, the gearbox basis would remain from the previous car. However, Colotti would work with Francis to develop his own 6-speed manual gearbox.
When finished, the already tight package of the ATS 100, would be all the more compact. The beautiful cigar-shaped body would retain the slender and long nose. However, at the rear of the car there would be an abrupt end to the bodywork that would give the car what appeared to be a much more aggressive look. But how would it perform?

Before the Derrington Francis ATS 100 could take to the track, the small privateer team needed a driver. For driving duties, the team would come to hire the Portuguese driver Mario Araujo 'Nicha' de Cabral.

In spite of the fact the car remained practically the same as that which had taken to the track the year before, the evolved version of the ATS 100 would not make its first appearance until the Italian Grand Prix, the 8th round of the 1964 Formula One season.

The year before, the Italian Grand Prix would prove to be the best showing for the ATS 100. In the hands of former World Champion Phil Hill, the car posted a best lap in practice of 1:42.7. Mario de Araujo de Cabral, on the other hand, would take a car he had rather limited experience and would turn in a lap one-tenth faster than Hill. This would lead to the Portuguese driver starting from the 8th row of the grid in the 19th position.

In the race, Nicha would be performing respectively well. Even the veteran and double Monaco champion Maurice Trintignant would find himself trailing behind the Derrington-Francis ATS 100. The car would continue to run strong until the race reached the 20 lap mark. Upon reaching that point in the race, something began to go wrong with the car. It was clear the car wasn't producing all of the power it was possible of producing. Then, finally, on the 24th lap of the race, it all came to an end for the team when it was determined ignition troubles were making it impossible to carry on.

Unfortunately, the ignition troubles and the retirement from the Italian Grand Prix signaled something more. Despite being given new life and a second chance, the ATS 100 would be found wanting even in its evolved state. And because it could not achieve the kind of fame as its Ferrari lineage would have suggested, the ATS 100 would not be able to keep Francis from disappearing from Formula One after that one Italian Grand Prix in 1964.

Although the Formula One careers of ATS and Derrington-Francis would come and go, the ATS 100 would survive and would become something of a regular in the historic grand prix scene. Interestingly, even in its new career as a historic grand prix participant, the ATS 100 still struggled to finish races.

'Derrington Francis ATS GP', (http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/3080/Derrington-Francis-ATS-GP.html). Ultimatecarpage.com: Powered by Knowledge, Driven by Passion. http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/car/3080/Derrington-Francis-ATS-GP.html. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'Forgotten F1', (http://forgottenf1.tumblr.com/post/17038162943/after-ats-team-end-one-of-the-cars-became). Forgotten F1. http://forgottenf1.tumblr.com/post/17038162943/after-ats-team-end-one-of-the-cars-became. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'Rebels Without Speed: The ATS Fiasco', (http://forgottenf1.tumblr.com/post/17038162943/after-ats-team-end-one-of-the-cars-became). F1Rejects.com. http://forgottenf1.tumblr.com/post/17038162943/after-ats-team-end-one-of-the-cars-became. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

'1964 Italian Grand Prix', (http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1964/italy/). ManipeF1. http://www.manipef1.com/grandprix/1964/italy/. Retrieved 27 December 2012.

Wikipedia contributors, 'Alf Francis', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 August 2012, 03:14 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alf_Francis&oldid=507314816 accessed 27 December 2012

By Jeremy McMullen

1963 ATS Models

Related Drivers

Italy Giancarlo Baghetti
Portugal Mário Veloso de Araújo Cabral
United States Philip Toll Hill, Jr

Related Teams

Italy Automobili Turismo e Sport
United Kingdom Derrington-Francis Racing Team

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