Automobiles Gonfaronaise Sportive
|Based in: Gonfaron (1970-89), Le Luc en Provence (90-91)|
Founded: 1970 (active 1986-1991)
Principal: Henri Julien (1970-89), Cyril de Rouvre (1989-91)
Automobiles Gonfaronaises Sportives was founded by Henri Julien, a driver and car- builder during the 60s. The company started out small and pretty much stayed that way.
Towards the end of the 1960s Julien ran F3 Matras for a number of French drivers which eventually led to the building of the first AGS, the JH1, built in 1970 for Formula France. A number of cars for the French categories were produced with limited success so when the organisation moved up to Formula 2 in 1978 many people were taken by surprise.
It took two seasons before an AGS driver scored a point in the European F2 series although when Dallest did get on the leaderboard it was with maximum points after an excellent race at Pau.
The following three years saw AGS performing quite well in F2 competiitions up until 1984 when Formula 2 was wound down.
The move to Formula One came in 1986 when the first AGS arrived for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. The first championship point arrived in Australia the following season but the small operation struggled to compete.
In 1988, AGS started with the new AGS JH23 with Philippe Streiff as the team's only driver. He qualified reasonably well but due to accidents and technical failures he only managed to finish 4 times that season. Problems then got worse as the team's sponsor, Bouygues withdrew after the team started work on their new factory outside Gonfaron.
Henri Julien eventually saw no other possibility but sell the team to French businessman Cyril de Louvre. This only was the beginning of more problems for the team, as the internal management changes had a negative impact on the entire company. Christian Verderpleyn, a Belgian mechanic who designed the team's first car, the JH01 and was with the team form the word go left to Coloni, along with a large number of other staff.
1999 marked another restructure for AGS under the direction of Hughes de Chaunac. The team relocated from the original Gonfaron base to the Var circuit near Le Luc en Provence. June 1990 saw another change - Chaunac left the team and ownership passed to Cyril de Rouvre who in turn, sold the majority shareholdings to the Italians Gabriele Rafanelli and Patrizio Cantu in April 1991, only to see the team close before the end of that year.
|Car designation||Race years|