ENGINES: ASIATECH

Name: Asiatech

When Peugeot decided to sell its Formula 1 operation in 2000 a company called Asia Motor Technologies emerged to buy it. This was a mysterious company which boasted Asian support but the only investors ever mentioned wereHideo Morita, the son of the late Akio Morita who founded the Sony Corporation, and the Japanese machine tool company Yamazaki Mazak. The organisation was taken over by financier John Gano and the technical side of the operation by Enrique Scalabroni. A deal was struck for the ex-Peugeot engines to be supplied (free of charge) to Arrows in 2001. The programme was not a success and at the end of the year Arrows decided to give up the engines and pay for Cosworths instead. Minardi took over the Asiatech deal. While this was happening Asiatech began to make noises about setting up its own F1 team and set up a design office in the old Williams factory in Didcot. The team had designed an F1 prototype by the middle of 2002 but it became clear that the money had run out and Asiatech, unable to find a customer for its engines closed its doors at the end of the year.

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