ENGINES: MEGATRON

Name: Megatron

In 1986 Jackie Oliver managed to convince a US insurance company called United States Fidelity & Guaranty to sponsor his Arrows Formula 1 team in order to promote its asset management business. At the end of that year BMW announced that it was withdrawing from Grand Prix racing and Arrows found itself in need of an engine. John Schmidt of USF&G had previously run a computer leasing company called Megatron and this had become a subsidiary of the company. He persuaded USF&G to fund an engine program with the old BMW 4-cylinder turbocharged engines being bought from BMW Motorsport and prepared in Switzerland by Heini Mader. These were badged Megatron and were used to power the Arrows A10 in 1987. At the same time Ligier ran into problems when the team was dumped at the last minute by Alfa Romeo and so Megatron was convinced to supply the French operation with engines as well. The Arrows-Megatron A10 was quite a success with the team finishing sixth in the Constructors' World Championship. Ligier was not successful and that deal ended at the end of the year.

The engines reappeared in 1988 with the A10 revamped in B-specification. This was to be the Arrows team's most successful season ever with fourth place in the Constructors' Championship. At the end of that year turbo engines were banned, the new normally-aspirated Formula 1 began and Arrows had to switch to Cosworth.

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