Zakspeed Racing

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Zakspeed Racing Empty Zakspeed Racing

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:40 pm

Zakspeed is a motor racing team from Germany, founded in 1968 by Erich Zakowski and now run by his son Peter Zakowski. Their home town of Niederzissen is located not far away[clarification needed] from the Nürburgring racetrack.


1982 to 1989: Endurance cars and F1

In 1982, Zakspeed ran the works Ford C100 Group C effort in conjunction with the factory. The Zakspeed-prepared machine was run by the works Ford Germany team with Klaus Ludwig, Manfred Winkelhock and Marc Surer at the wheel, but the car was a midfielder at best, although Jonathan Palmer and Desiré Wilson scored a 4th place overall the 1000 km of Brands Hatch in 1982. Ford Germany retracted their support and one car was sold to privateers, while the other chassis was evolved by Zakspeed into the C1/4 and the C1/8, making few appearances in international racing, but becoming a front-runner in the German Interserie, where it won the championship in 1984 with Klaus Niedzwiedz.
The engine was the basis for their Formula One entry from 1985 to 1988. In spite of the team's engineering expertise, Zakspeed never managed to create a competitive chassis/engine package. Their first car, the 184, debuted in 1985, one year after the original plan, and was already outdated. Even with drivers such as the first Formula 3000 champion Christian Danner and ex-Tyrrell driver Martin Brundle, their best result (and only points finish) was a 5th place in the 1987 San Marino Grand Prix, thanks to Brundle.
For their final season, in 1989, they had to use Yamaha engines as turbos were banned. The Japanese engine was unreliable and drivers Bernd Schneider (former German Formula 3 champion) and the rookie Aguri Suzuki struggled to pre-qualify the car. Schneider only qualified the car twice and retired both times, while Suzuki never got past pre-qualifying. In the end, Zakspeed were notable for building their own chassis and engine, something only Ferrari did at that time, but with no competitive showings in five years, the team left Formula One and returned to touring cars, where they had once been at the top of the game.


After withdrawing from F1, they ran Mercedes 190E and Opel Calibra cars in the 1990s Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft and the short-lived ITC series, now managed by Peter Zakowski who had taken over from his father after his Formula 3 career. His career as a driver did not lead him into F1, but he was quick around the old Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit in endurance races, winning the 24 Hours Nürburgring several times.


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