After four seasons in Formula 1, the start of a new decade gave AGS reasons for hope. The new headquarters at Circuit du Var had been completed and the team moved in over the off-season, finally abandoning the tin shack of the true “garagiste” days. Cyril de Rouvre reshuffled the administrative staff. He appointed Hugues de Chaunac, founder of the multi-disciplinary ORECA racing team, to be the new Technical Director, relegating Henri Julien further to consultant level. In addition, late in the 1989 season, Michel Costa had decided that his move to Coloni had been a mistake, and he returned to AGS to be put in charge of designing an all-new car for the upcoming year. Both drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Yannick Dalmas stayed on for another year. Costa’s new creation JH25 was not ready for the start of the season, so AGS started the year with the JH24, given a few minor modifications but not enough to be officially designated a “B” specification. The JH24 was used in three first races of the season. The car was now painted in an all-black livery with the yellow logo of French fashion designer Ted Lapidus, somewhat spoiled by a huge question mark on the airbox. This was an invitation for a new sponsor to come on board and be displayed on the most prominent part of the car, a tactic which the was repeated by HRT 21 years later. The only race out of first 3 where at least one AGS driver was able to get through pre-qualifying and qualifying was the Brazilian Grand Prix. Yannick Dalmas was 4th in pre-qualifying, last out of 9 participants to be admitted to qualifying. In the qualification he was able to set 26th time, ahead of quartet of Onyx and Leyton House drivers, but his race lasted only 28 laps due to suspension problem. The car was then replaced by the JH25. For the second half of the season AGS was free of pre-qualifications and went to the start a little more often. The team’s best was 9th place by Dalmas in the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez.
|Yannick Dalmas||18||Automobiles Gonfaronnaises Sportives|