Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau

Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau (AFM) (but some sources claim the M stood for Munich[1]) was a German racing car constructor. The team was started by Alexander von Falkenhausen, who was in the 1930s an important engineer in the development of BMW's model 328, along with Alfred Boning, Ernst Loof and Fritz Fiedler. The 328 was a dominant sports car in late 1930s Europe and winner of the 1940 Mille Miglia race in Brescia, Italy.

After World War II, von Falkenhausen opened a garage in Munich where he tuned pre-war 328s, converting some of them into single-seaters, and in 1948 went on to build his own car marque with the 328's engine. As a result, the Formula 2 AFM-1 appeared in 1949, driven by Hans Stuck, resulting in a third place at the Grenzlandring. AFM won a heat in the Autodromo GP at Monza with Stuck behind the wheel, beating the Ferraris of Alberto Ascari and Juan Manuel Fangio. Other cars were raced by Fritz Riess, Karl Gommann, Willi Heeks and Manfred von Brauchitsch. By 1951 Stuck was within the development of a lightweight V8 engine designed by Richard Küchen and won the 1951 Grenzlandring F2 race with the so-called AFM-4-"Küchen". The 1952 and 1953 World Drivers' Championships were run to Formula Two regulations, enabling AFM cars to compete in several World Championship rounds. By the time 1953 rolled in, the cars were becoming less competitive and with the fall of F2 that year the marque and the team faded away, while Freiherr von Falkenhausen in 1954 started to work for BMW again, leading their Rennsportabteilung for more than the following 20 years.

AFM
Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau logo
Full nameGermany Alex von Falkenhausen Motorenbau
BaseGermany Munich, Germany
Founder(s)Germany Alexander von Falkenhausen
Noted driversGermany Hans Stuck
Formula One World Championship career
First entry1952 Swiss Grand Prix
Races entered4
EnginesBMW, Bristol, Küchen
Constructors'
Championships
0
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories0
Pole positions0
Fastest laps0
Final entry1953 Italian Grand Prix

World Championship participation: 1952–53

The first AFM to enter a World Championship Grand Prix was a works car entered for Stuck at the 1952 Swiss Grand Prix. Stuck qualified the car 14th, beating some established names such as Harry Schell, who was driving a Maserati entered by Enrico Platé. However, he was some 14 seconds behind the pole time of Giuseppe Farina's works Ferrari. In the race, Stuck dropped back steadily until Küchen's engine failed him on the fifth lap.

The other race of 1952 to feature AFM cars was the German Grand Prix. Privately owned cars were entered by Willi Heeks, Helmut Niedermayr, Ludwig Fischer and Willi Krakau, all using BMW engines instead of the Küchen unit favoured by the works team. Neither Fischer nor Krakau started the race, and while Niedermayr was down in 22nd place, Heeks qualified his car a magnificent 9th. He qualified ahead of several works cars, including Jean Behra's Gordini. Come the race, Heeks took advantage of both Paul Pietsch's Veritas and Ernst Klodwig's BMW running into trouble on the opening lap, and moved up to 7th, where he remained for 5 laps. However, on lap 6, he began to suffer with the BMW engine in his car, and by the end of the 8th lap, he was out. Meanwhile, Niedermayr had been making fantastic progress from his lowly grid slot. Heeks' retirement moved his compatriot up into 9th place. By capitalising on other's mistakes. Niedermayr had moved up through the field, and when Robert Manzon's Gordini lost a wheel on the 9th lap, he inherited the Frenchman's 8th place. He was passed by Toni Ulmen, driving a Veritas, late in the race, but still brought the car home in 9th, the first ever finish for an AFM in a championship race.

AFMs were back in action in Germany the following year. Stuck entered once again, privately this time. He was using yet another different engine, the Bristol straight six. He was joined by Günther Bechem in his privately entered machine, and Theo Fitzau, driving a car for Niedermayr, who had performed so well in it himself the previous year. Niedermayr himself had retired from racing after killing at least 13 spectators during a crash at the Grenzlandring in 1952. Both Bechem and Fitzau were using BMW engines. Fitzau was the highest qualifier, in 21st place, over 80 seconds behind Alberto Ascari on pole for Ferrari. Stuck was 23rd, while Bechem, down in 30th, was well over 2 minutes shy of Ascari's time, made possible by the extreme length of the Nürburgring circuit. Stuck was out on lap 1, as his new engine failed. By the end of lap 4, Bechem and Fitzau were also out with similar engine problems.

AFM's last appearance in championship F1 came at the Italian Grand Prix later in the year, as Stuck entered his car again. He qualified second last, beating only Johnny Claes's Connaught. However, he finished 14th in the race, simply by virtue of not running into difficulties. He was 13 laps behind the victorious Juan Manuel Fangio.

As Grand Prix racing abandoned the F2 regulations at the end of 1953, so AFM withdrew from the scene. Their best result remained Niedermayr's 9th place at the German Grand Prix of 1952.

Complete World Championship results

(key)

Year Chassis Engines Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1952 AFM SUI 500 BEL FRA GBR GER NED ITA
Küchen V8 E Hans Stuck Ret
BMW L6 ? Willi Heeks Ret
BMW L6 ? Helmut Niedermayr 9
BMW L6 ? Ludwig Fischer DNS
BMW L6 ? Willi Krakau DNS
1953 AFM ARG 500 NED BEL FRA GBR GER SUI ITA
Bristol L6 D Hans Stuck Ret 14
BMW L6 D Theo Fitzau Ret
BMW L6 D Günther Bechem Ret

External links

References

  1. ^ For example, MotorKlassik and Forix motorsport history.
BMW in Formula One

BMW has been involved in Formula One in a number of capacities since the inauguration of the World Drivers' Championship in 1950. The company entered occasional races in the 1950s and 1960s (often under Formula Two regulations), before building the BMW M12/13 inline-four turbocharged engine in the 1980s. This engine was the result of a deal between BMW and Brabham, which resulted in the team's chassis being powered by BMW engines from 1982 until 1987, a period in which Nelson Piquet won the 1983 championship driving a Brabham BT52-BMW. BMW also supplied the M12/13 on a customer basis to the ATS, Arrows, Benetton and Ligier teams during this period, with various degrees of success. In 1988, Brabham temporarily withdrew from the sport and BMW withdrew its official backing from the engines, which were still used by the Arrows team under the Megatron badge. Turbocharged engines were banned by the revised Formula One Technical Regulations for 1989, rendering the M12/13 obsolete.

BMW decided to return to Formula One in the late 1990s by signing an exclusive contract with the Williams team, which needed a new long-term engine supplier after the withdrawal of Renault in 1997. The programme resulted in the creation of a new V10 engine which made its race début in the Williams FW22 in 2000. The following year saw the partnership move from the midfield to challenging for race victories, but the desired championship remained elusive due to the dominance of Michael Schumacher and Ferrari in the first half of the 2000s. By 2005, the relationship between BMW and Williams had deteriorated, and BMW chose to part company and buy the rival Sauber team outright.

The BMW Sauber project lasted from 2006 until 2009, and resulted in a substantial increase in competitiveness for the Swiss former privateer team. Two podium finishes in the first year were followed by a solid third in the Constructors' Championship in 2007 (which became second when McLaren was disqualified). In 2008, Robert Kubica won the team's only race, the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix, and led the Drivers' Championship at one point, but the team chose to focus on development of its 2009 car and slipped back in the standings by the end of the season. The 2009 season was a major disappointment as the F1.09 chassis proved uncompetitive. Combined with the global financial recession and the company's frustration about the limitations of the contemporary technical regulations in developing technology relevant to road cars, BMW chose to withdraw from the sport, selling the team back to its founder, Peter Sauber.

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The Kent family can be divided into three basic sub-families; the original pre-Crossflow Kent, the Crossflow (the most prolific of all versions of the Kent), and the transverse mounted Valencia variants.

The arrival of the Duratec-E engine in the fifth generation Fiesta range in 2002 signalled the end of the engine's use in production vehicles after a 44-year career, although the Valencia derivative remained in limited production in Brazil, as an industrial use engine by Ford's Power Products division, where it is known as the VSG-411 and VSG-413.

List of Formula One constructors

The following is a list of Formula One constructors. In Formula One motor racing, constructors are people or corporate entities which design key parts of Formula One cars that have competed or are intended to compete in the FIA World Championship. Since 1981, it has been a requirement that each competitor must have the exclusive rights to the use of certain key parts of their car – in 2018, these parts were the survival cell, the front impact structure, the roll structures and bodywork. However, one key part that is not covered under this requirement is the power unit.

List of companies named after people

This is a list of companies named after people. For other lists of eponyms (names derived from people) see Lists of etymologies. All of these are named after founders, co-founders and partners of companies, unless otherwise stated.

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