Rial-Ford

89rial.jpgThe Rial team had had a pretty good inaugural year in 1988, with Andrea de Cesaris finishing fourth in Detroit and qualifying for every race. He could have scored more points, but the car had an unfortunate habit of running out of fuel in the late stages of races, and more than once it did so when he was running well. Performance did start to slip towards the end of the season, with de Cesaris posting six retirements on the trot between Hungary and Japan before a final, encouraging race in Australia where he finished 8th despite taking out Berger while in the lead. With Gustav Brunner having fallen out (again) with Gunter Schmid and headed off to Zakspeed, the new ARC2 car was designed by Stefan Fober and would mount the Ford DFR engine. The team would also boast the first all-German driving lineup in some time with returnee Christian Danner joined by rookie Volker Weidler.


89danner.jpg38. Christian Danner de

After three seasons in F1 with little to show for it, Christian Danner had decided at the end of 1987 to leave Zakspeed and go into touring car racing instead. Competing in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) with the Alpina team, he had won a couple of early races before dropping off a little in form, finally finishing 11th in the series. A move to Rial promised to give him a more competitive car, and a second shot at F1.

 

 


89weidler.jpg39. Volker Weidler de

25-year-old Weidler was born in Heidelberg and by 18 was competing in German Formula Ford 1600, winning the title at his third attempt in 1982. Moving up to Formula 3, he raced in British, German and European series, becoming German champion in 1985. For 1986 he moved into DTM and finished second in the series as well as racing sportscars and International F3000. By 1988 he was racing full time in F3000 for 1987 champion team Onyx, but he hit them at a bad time and could only manage 15th. Still, with his breadth of experience he could do well in F1.

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