Zakspeed

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Zakspeed
Zakspeed
Motor racing team
Founded 1968
Country  Germany
Team Principal(s) Germany Peter Zakowski
Former series Formula One
Superleague Formula
V8Star Series
Drivers Klaus Ludwig
Drivers' titles 2003 V8Star Series season (Lamy)
2008 Superleague Formula season (Rigon)
Teams' titles 2002 V8Star Series season
2003 V8Star Series season
2008 Superleague Formula season

Zakspeed (German pronunciation: [ˈtsakspiːt]) 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 from the Nürburgring racetrack.

1973 to 1981: Saloon and sports car racing[edit]

Klaus Ludwig drove the Roush-Zakspeed Ford Mustang Turbo during the 1981 and 1982 Camel GT race seasons.

In the late 1970s, Zakspeed was the official Ford team in the German Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM) series, a predecessor of the current DTM. The company constructed and entered an FIA Group 2 Escort and the Group 5 Capri, based on the MKIII production model. During this period, the Zakspeed team achieved a number of victories including the overall championship in 1981 with driver Klaus Ludwig (car shown left).

In the early 1980s, Zakspeed also prepared a Mustang for Ford USA's Special Vehicle Operations to race in the domestic IMSA Camel GT series. The Mustang chassis was based on the Group 5 Capri.

1982 to 1989: Endurance cars and F1[edit]

Germany Zakspeed
Full name Zakspeed Racing
Base Niederzissen, Germany
Team principal(s) France Jean-Luc Lagardère
Founder(s) Germany Erich Zakowski
Noted staff United Kingdom Paul Brown
United Kingdom Chris Murphy
Germany Heinz Zollner
Austria Gustav Brunner
Noted drivers United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer
Germany Christian Danner
United Kingdom Martin Brundle
Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani
Germany Bernd Schneider
Formula One World Championship career
Debut 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix
Races competed 74
Constructors'
Championships
0 (best finish: 10th, 1987)
Drivers'
Championships
0
Race victories 0 (best finish: 5th, 1987 San Marino Grand Prix)
Podiums 0
Points 2
Pole positions 0 (best grid position: 13th, 1987 Mexican Grand Prix)
Fastest laps 0
Final race 1989 Australian Grand Prix

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. 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.

1990s and beyond: Return to sports and touring cars[edit]

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.

In 1998, Zakspeed entered two Porsche 911 GT1 in the FIA GT Championship, where French Team Oreca dominated the GT2-class with their heavily modified Chrysler Viper GTS-Rs. One of these Vipers was purchased by Zakspeed to be entered on the Nürburgring VLN series to take advantage of the new, less restrictive rules for the 1999 season. Zakowski and his teammate dominated the 1999 season, winning every race, before the rules were altered for 2000 and the Porsche 996 GT3 showed up. The team won the 24 Hours Nürburgring again in 2001 and 2002. In 2003, against factory competition, they were disqualified due to a dispute over fuel tank size.

A company related to Zakspeed, Nitec, built the NASCAR-like V8-powered tube frame prototype cars of the V8Star Series Championship series which ran from 2001 to 2003. These identical cars used bodies modelled after road cars from Jaguar, BMW, Opel, Lexus and others. Zakspeed itself won in 2003 with Pedro Lamy in a Jaguar-bodied car.

In 2001, the Zakspeed team also made a brief return to single-seaters with a foray into CART racing in the US in partnership with the long-established Forsythe Championship Racing. Nobody from Zakspeed came over to the U.S. and Forsythe ended the partnership.

In 2006, the Zakspeed team returned to the FIA GT Championship with the Saleen S7-R. Currently, the company also runs a racing school operating at the Nürburgring circuit.

Superleague Formula[edit]

In 2008, Zakspeed managed the Superleague Formula cars of Borussia Dortmund and Beijing Guoan, with the latter taking the overall title from such clubs as PSV Eindhoven, Liverpool F.C. and A.C. Milan. Dortmund took one win in the season and Beijing took three on the way to the title with driver Davide Rigon.

In 2009, Zakspeed managed Sporting CP (who won a race with Pedro Petiz) and R.S.C. Anderlecht.

Difficulties[edit]

During September 2006 Peter Zakowski filed for bankruptcy at the bankruptcy court in Bitburg (Eifel). A related article appeared in the German sportscar magazine "sport auto", issue 01/2007. Whether or not this will have an impact on the racing team is currently not clear. Additionally, the 2006 Saleen that raced in FIA GT1 category was offered for leasing in several motorsport related magazines. For 2007 the racing team originally planned to race 3 Mosler MT900 in FIA GT3 category. This failed due to a missing homologation through the FIA for this car.

In January 2010, Zakspeed Performance Management announced it had filed for insolvency.[1]

Gallery[edit]

Complete World Championship Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1985 Zakspeed 841 Zakspeed 1500/4
S4 t/c
G BRA POR SMR MON CAN DET FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA BEL EUR RSA AUS 0 NC
United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
West Germany Christian Danner Ret Ret
1986 Zakspeed 861 Zakspeed 1500/4
S4 t/c
G BRA ESP SMR MON BEL CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR MEX AUS 0 NC
United Kingdom Jonathan Palmer Ret Ret Ret 12 13 Ret 8 Ret 9 Ret 10 Ret Ret 12 10 9
Netherlands Huub Rothengatter Ret DNQ Ret 12 DNS Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 Ret Ret DNS Ret
1987 Zakspeed 861
Zakspeed 871
Zakspeed 1500/4
S4 t/c
G BRA SMR BEL MON DET FRA GBR GER HUN AUT ITA POR ESP MEX JPN AUS 2 10th
United Kingdom Martin Brundle Ret 5 Ret 7 Ret Ret NC NC Ret DSQ Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret Ret
West Germany Christian Danner 9 7 Ret EX 8 Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret 7
1988 Zakspeed 881 Zakspeed 1500/4
S4 t/c
G BRA SMR MON MEX CAN DET FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
West Germany Bernd Schneider DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ 12 DNQ 13 Ret DNQ DNQ Ret DNQ
Italy Piercarlo Ghinzani DNQ Ret Ret 15 14 DNQ EX DNQ 14 DNQ Ret Ret DNQ DNQ DNQ Ret
1989 Zakspeed 891 Yamaha OX88
V8
P BRA SMR MON MEX USA CAN FRA GBR GER HUN BEL ITA POR ESP JPN AUS 0 NC
West Germany Bernd Schneider Ret DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ Ret DNPQ
Japan Aguri Suzuki DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ DNPQ

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Insolvenz bei Zakspeed". racing1.de (in German) (Speedpool Multimedia-Service GmbH). 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2010-01-27. 

External links[edit]