Following the success in 1961 sweeping the Formula One World Drivers, with Phil Hill, and Manufacturers championships along with the World Sports Car Championship which included winning all but one race including the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours with Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien Ferrari went into an equally disastrous melt down over the running of the company that saw key employees walk away from Maranello.
Among those who left were Chief Engineer Carlo Chiti and Development Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini who almost immediately founded ATS, Automobili Turismo Sport, to rival Ferrari in the production of racing cars and sports cars all funded by one of Ferrari’s preeminent customers Count Giovanni Volpi who ran the Scuderia Serenissima racing team.
For 1963 ATS had built two ATS 100 Formula One cars powered by their own V8 motor and persuaded Ferrari drivers Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti to defect from Maranello and drive for them.
The 1963 season yielded an unsustainable 8 retirements equally between the two ATS drivers with the teams only finishes being recorded at the Italian Grand Prix where Phil finished 11th and last placed starter Giancarlo finished 15th.
Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm for his 1960 Walker Climax project, for 1964 former Stirling Moss and Rob Walker mechanic Alf Francis persuaded performance equipment magnate Vic Derrington to fund a new team.
Alf Francis built a new chassis six inches shorter than the ATS 100s driven by Phil Hill and Giancarlo Baghetti and fitted it with a Carlo Chiti designed ATS V8 motor and steering wheel boss from the now defunct ATS team.
The Derrington Francis was ready for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix for Portuguese driver Mário de Araújo Cabral.
Mario coincidentally had been “encouraged to withdraw” from the grid at Monza in 1963 by the race organisers to make the last place on the grid available to failed qualifier but home boy ATS driver Giancarlo Baghetti.
After qualifying 19th for the 1964 Italian Grand Prix Mário this time took the start, but retired after 24 laps with ignition problems.
The Derrington Francis Racing Team folded after Dan Gurney damaged the Derrington Francis while testing it.
Meanwhile Mário retired from the top level of the sport with his best result from four starts being 10th place in the 1959 Portuguese Grand Prix on his debut.
Jason Wright is seen at the wheel of the Derrington Francis ATS at Goodwood Revival events in 2011 and 2012.
Thanks for joining me on this “Implosion Fallout” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres.” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !