Rial, a German producer of light alloy wheels and rims, was bought by Günter Schmid, ex-owner of the ATS Wheels company in 1987. Schmid followed the same strategy as he had at ATS, advertising the Rial wheel brand by entering Formula One as a constructor. The first Rial car was designed by former Ferrari chief designer Gustav Brunner, and was powered by a Cosworth DFZ V8 engine. The ARC1 was similar in appearance in Brunner’s Ferrari F1/87 and was known as ‘the Blue Ferrari’, though the ARC1 featured a different engine cover owing to different sized engine and fuel tank, as well as lower sidepods than the Ferrari due to not having to house turbochargers. Brunner gave the car a unique front suspension arrangement with its dampers positioned longitudinally at the height of the floor. Rial also developed its own gearbox for the ARC1. Rial Racing ran a single entry throughout the season for the experienced Italian Andrea de Cesaris who also brought much needed money to the team through his personal Marlboro sponsorship. The car proved to be very unreliable. It had only been classified in five races and even in two of these, he was not running at the finish due to running out of fuel (the ARC1 was known to have the smallest fuel tank of the atmospheric cars in 1988). However, one finish was fourth on the streets of Detroit. The team finished in ninth place in the constructors championship, and Andrea de Cesaris was placed fifteenth in the drivers’ championship.
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