S4772 AGS JH21C No.31 Italian GP 1986 – Ivan Capelli
Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives (shortform for AGS) was a French racing car manufacturer who raced in different categories for more than 30 years. In 1986 the team from Gonfaron in the south of France decided to gave its debut in Formula One with just seven employees. One of them was technical director Christian Vanderpleyn who was assisted by designchief Michel Costa. They took a Renault RE60 as a base. And built a Formula One car after the rules of 1986 around it. Some parts of the RE60 were used directly for the JH21C. For example the rear axle. The V6 turbo was bought at Motori Moderni in Italy. As a sponsor the cloth and shoe manufacturer El Charro put his logos on the car. With a modest budget the team around principal Henri Julien made the car ready for the Grand Prix of Italy in Monza. Ivan Capelli was signed as a driver. Capelli had experience from two Grands Prix in 1985 whit Tyrrell. And in 1986 he was on his way to win the European Formula 3000 championship. Capelli managed to qualify for both races as 25th. However the gap to the pole time was a considerable 10 or 7,5 seconds. Capelli didn’t see the checkered flag in both races. In Monza he retired after 31 laps with a puncture. In Estoril a transmission failure stopped him after six laps. AGS didn’t take part at the expensive overseas Grand Prix in Mexico and Australia. Instead they already concentrated on the new car, the JH22, which was raced in 1987. What many do not know: Former Ferrari driver Didier Pironi tested the car before his first Grand Prix at Le Castellet. Pironi assured afterwards that this test served only for one thing: having fun. He had no ambitions to make a comeback four years after his tragical accident in Hockenheim. Other sources say Pironi wanted to know if he could have done it. The question can not be finally clarified. One year after that test Pironi was killed in an offshore race. Today the only chassis available from the JH21C can be visited in the museum “Manoir de l’Automobile” in Lohéac, Bretagne. Spark offers the AGS JH21C from the Italian Grand Prix in 1:43.