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Klaus Ludwig and Zakspeed


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#1 wsp77

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 14:36

Hi everyone

 

 

With Klaus Ludwig's invlovement with Zakspeed, does anyone know if he was ever considered as a race driver for the Formula 1 team?

 

Considering his reasonable ability in F2 and his huge success at Le Mans, did he ever test for the F1 team? Was he ever considered for a drive at the German GP?

 

 

Looking forward to your replies.

 

Thanks



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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 14:58

According to this post in the Ultimate Test Driver thread he tested for ATS in 1977, but there's no mention of any Zakspeed test.



#3 Michael Ferner

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 15:17

I'm pretty sure neither he nor Zakowski were interested.



#4 wsp77

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 15:20

Thanks for the updates. The ATS test seems more realistic than Zakspeed I guess, this would have been on the back of his F2 campaigns with Kauhsen.



#5 arttidesco

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Posted 14 September 2013 - 17:09

Klaus would have been 35 years old when Zakspeed got to F1 in 1985, certainly not too old, but a little late in life to start F1 even then.



#6 William Hunt

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 20:53

If I remember this correctly, Zakspeed had already plans to enter F1 in 1984 but postponed it to 1985. This is from my memory though, maybe someone knows more about this. Maybe Ludwig was on their list for '84 but I can't remember that Ludwig was ever linked to driving F1.



#7 BRG

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 17:18

Given Zakspeed's somewhat less than stellar F1 history, a lucky escape for Ludwig perhaps?



#8 William Hunt

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 14:43

I would not call that a lucky escape BRG. Because in the long run drivers who have at least started one or more F1 races are remembered much better by autosport historians or by fans as drivers who only drove touring cars or sports cars, even if they won titles in those categories. And I believe that every driver would love to at least have race in F1, even if it was just for 1 year or just 1 race even. Because from a technical point of view it is still the pinnacle of motorsport: these are the most advanced cars in the world and it is the most prestigious championship.

 

But can anyone on this forum confirm that Zakspeed had initially planned to already enter in 1984 but postponed to 1985? I somehow seem to remember it this way. Possibly Minardi had also already plans to enter in 1984.

 

Edit: I've just read this on Wikipedia:

 

"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."

 

So now my question is (and I would really love to know this): who would have driven that car that they had planned to enter in 1984?


Edited by William Hunt, 19 September 2013 - 14:54.


#9 BRG

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 18:50

I would not call that a lucky escape BRG. Because in the long run drivers who have at least started one or more F1 races are remembered much better by autosport historians or by fans as drivers who only drove touring cars or sports cars, even if they won titles in those categories. 

Not sure that Vincenzo Sospiri or Justin Wilson would necessarily agree.  Or Bourdais, Zanardi and a few others who did well elsewhere but did not shine, for whatever reason, in F1.  Ludwig was a leading performer in his chosen areas, would a rather mediocre F1 effort (for it could only have been that with Zakspeed) have added to or subtracted from those palmares?  Although I agree that he might regret never having had the chance.



#10 Michael Ferner

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 23:18

I recall pictures in the German magazines at the time, I'd say late summer in 1984. The car was ostensibly ready to be tested, but I don't recall any reports about such tests. Anyway, already at that time, I believe, Zakowski said that they would not enter the car at the Nürburgring GP (which was held pretty late that year), so any theories about who could have been the driver are pretty irrelevant. The car was painted an attractive silver, but looked already dated, and a bit uninspired - not very much unlike the Porsche Indy car a few years later. It was obvious that it wasn't going to be competitive, and I thought at the time that perhaps they were just trying to find a customer for the engine.



#11 Mallory Dan

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 13:25

Much as I thought Ludwig was great in Group C, in F2 he didn't do much at all as I recall. Certainly nowhere near enough to have got a GP drive on merit, even at Zakspeed...



#12 ktrhe

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 14:02

Ludwig startet in Motorsport with Touring Cars in 1971 with a NSU TT. He startet his Formula 2 career in 1976, without nearly any expierience in single seater. His results was´nt bad at all. But not as good as most pepole (Kranefus/Kauhsen) expectet. I dont know if he realy had a chance for the ATS in 1977, but in 1984/5 he allready stopped his single seater career and was settelt in Touring and Endurence Sport.



#13 Michael Ferner

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 14:16

Kauhsen had his own F1 team (or should I say: dream) at the time, and Ludwig never figured in his plans. Ludwig's career never really took off until he made his mark in Touring Cars late in '77, I think, and after that he got good rides in TCs, first with Gelo, then Kremer and Zakspeed. He never looked back, as they say, and I'm sure he didn't like people looking back on his single seater days, either. It was a finished chapter of his life, and as he was now on the road to stardom in TCs he didn't want to be reminded of failure.



#14 BRG

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 18:44

Exactly.  Better to be remembered as a three time Le Mans winner and a DTM champion than an entry in 'F1 Rejects'.



#15 William Hunt

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 23:54

Hi Michael, I also vaguely remembered that I saw one or more pictures of a silver Zakspeed testing in 1984! Now, I tried to find such a picture with google images. And I found 3 pictures of that car, even driving! Even more surprisingly: a model car was made of this!

 

According to me, and I am willing to bet on this, the helmet of the driver behind the wheel of the Zakspeed is Manfred Winkelhock!:

http://www.grandprix...-1984-1-43.html

 

So now we now that Winkelhock tested for Zakspeed in 1984.


Edited by William Hunt, 21 September 2013 - 23:55.