After a disappointing start to the season, when Alfa Romeo left him in the lurch without engines after it suddenly dawned on the Italian car maker what a lousy 1.5-litre turbo it had spent a year building, Guy Ligier was forced into doing a hurried deal for the use of the Megatron/BMW turbo engine which is also used by the Arrows team.
It has not been a successful partnership, and now Ligier has decided to take the 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated route for 1988. The French team’s cars will be powered by a V8 based round the 3-litre unit which has been used by the works F3000 Ralt-Hondas driven by Roberto Moreno and Mauricio Gugelmin in this year’s International Championship. The engine will be ready by the beginning of October, and Ligier should be in a position to test it in a revised JS29C before building a brand new JS31 for the next Formula One season.
Meanwhile, it is anticipated that the March team may use this engine next year for their two-car team for Ivan Capelli and an as-yet-unannounced partner.