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Info on the Zakspeed team?


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#1 Megatron

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Posted 30 December 1999 - 06:57

With all the sucess that the McLaren's have had with West, I can't help but reflect on West's previous sponsorship with Zakspeed in the 1980's.

Now, I (as many of you know) was not around in F1 in the 80's, so I have a few questions about the team.

1. The record books show this team was pretty bad, but were they ever even remotely competitive?

2. Was the main problem reliabity, engine power, chassis, or what?

3. The last year they used Yamaha engines? Were they any better?

4. Did West dump them because of the recession or because they had such poor results.

Another weird 1970/1980s question from a person who appericates everyone on this board ansewering them. :)

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#2 Megatron

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Posted 02 January 2000 - 04:23

Zakspeed not a very popular team?.........

#3 DAT

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Posted 02 January 2000 - 08:54

Er... Um... Jonathon Palmer Drove for them during the 1985 season. After F1 they competed in the german DTM series, and raced a porsche 911 Gt1 during the 1998 FIA GT series, failed to qualify at LeMans. Thats all I know!

#4 Marco94

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Posted 03 January 2000 - 08:01

For more statistics you can checkout http://www.forix.com

#5 Marcel Schot

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Posted 04 January 2000 - 01:23

Zakspeed was founded in 1968 by the German Erich Zakowski. In 1985 they made their way to Formula One. They decided to build their own engine instead of having them supplied by an established manufacturer. This proved to be the weakest point of the team altogether.

In 1985, Jonathan Palmer drove 8 and Christian Danner 2 races. Between them, only 1 time the finish was reached : 11th and last at Monaco, 4 laps behind winner Alain Prost. Of the 8 times the car started the race and didn't finish it (in San Marino Palmer was a non starter, despite his season best 17th position on the grid), 4 times engine failure was the cause.

In 1986, 2 cars were entered for most races, Jonathan Palmer this time partnered with Huub Rothengatter (now manager of Jos Verstappen). Reliability of the engine got a little better, but still 8 failures in 28 race starts. Grid positions again ranked anywhere between 16 and 26, were they were among Arrows, Minardi and Osella usually. 10 times the finish was reached, but always near the back and usually 1 or more laps down. Best was 8th position in Detroit and Austria.

1987 saw the return of Christian Danner, with on his side Martin Brundle. With these 2 things went a little better yet again. Usually among the first 20 on the grid and scoring 2 points at Imola where Brundle finished 5th. Reliability was mediocre again : 10 times a Zakspeed was classified. However, the engine got a little better again and only became a problem towards the end of the season, when both cars had engine failures at Suzuka and Brundle then again at Adelaide. Low point of the season was Monaco qualifying, where Christian Danner was excluded from the event for driving dangerously after hitting Michele Alboreto.

1988 had yet another line up. Piercarlo Ghinzani and later GT topper Bernd Schneider took the wheel of the Zakspeed. With the field getting larger and larger, things went increasingly more difficult for Zakspeed : on 17 out 32 attempts, it didn't qualify for the race. In the times it did qualify, the finish flag was seen only 5 times. France saw another disqualification, as Piercarlo Ghinzani managed to miss the weight check after qualifying.

In 1989 the team continued with Yahama engines and Gustav Brunner as designer, but it was only postponing the execution really. Aguri Suzuki and Bernd Schneider were the drivers and in 32 attempts, only Schneider made it into the race twice. On all other 30 occasions the cars didn't even get through the pre-qualification. The last time a Zakspeed made it into the race, the gearbox gave up after 1 lap.

Concluding, this team sure had potential, but made the fatal error of wanting to make it on their own. The had the driver material to do well, but the hardware didn't quite match. This team will probably only be remembered because of their biggest sponsor : West, now McLaren partner.

After giving up on Formula One, Zakspeed went back to where it came from, the German Touringcar Championship.
----
On the Yamaha engines:
1989 was the first year in which Yahama entered Formula One. From what I read, the engines were very inreliable and extremely underpowered (they were said to have between 570 and 590 BHP, whereas Benetton's Ford engine was rumoured between 615 and 630 BHP)

[This message has been edited by Marcel Schot (edited 01-03-2000).]

#6 Ruud de la Rosa

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Posted 04 January 2000 - 04:13

Zakspeed is entering Euroc now! And Didn't johnathan Palmer create Formula Palmer Audi??

#7 Megatron

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Posted 04 January 2000 - 04:17

I can see why no one responded for a while. :)

Man, 1988 and 89 were incredibly bad years. Only two quaifications through the year? And in 1988, you would have thought the team running a turbo would have given them a little more speed VS the NA engines like Judd and Cosworth.

#8 Roberto Manzolla

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 14:42

Hello,
Does anyone know why the engine Zakspeed was a 4-cylinder in-line ?
What was its base ? Was it a pure creation or a modified database ?
:smoking:

#9 Rainer Nyberg

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 15:05

Because the engine came straight (more or less) from Zakspeed Ford Capri which ran in the German Group 5 Championship. This was a 1.4-litre version, so the step up to 1.5 was easy.

I believe this engine can trace its roots to the BDA/Hart 4-cylinder family, but I doubt if, there were any shared components.

#10 MODE

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 19:20

More infos below with the 1987 car, maybe their most competitive season even if 86 was not so bad at the end with J.Palmer in Mexico and Estoril. It seems the chassis was the weakest point of the package in 86/87, M.Brundle having not bad comments about the engine. The car was too heavy, aerodynamics and mechanical grip were poor. I always liked this team and their cars and was happy to see a 871 chassis running in 2004 ? at Spa for Euroboss tests :

http://www.gurneyfla...edphotos19.html

#11 cpbell

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 19:26

Does anybody know at which races they swapped the West branding for "East"?

#12 HistoryFan

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 19:29

In all races in which tabacco-sponsering was not allowed. In the years with McLaren west wrote the name of the drivers instead of West in the West-Logo in races, in which tobacco-spondering wasn't allowed. You remember David and Mika at the side of the car. And with Zakspeed they wrote East instead of west.

#13 MODE

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 19:43

Originally posted by cpbell
Does anybody know at which races they swapped the West branding for "East"?


It think it appeared for the first time at Hockenheim 1986.

#14 alansart

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 20:02

I was working in Wolfsburg in the early 80's and was sent down to Niederzissen to do some work for one of my agents business partners. Drawings of production lines etc. I was put up in a small local hotel which just happened to be the haunt of the Zakspeed staff. The factory was just down the road. I met met up with ex F3 racer Alan Smith who could possibly arrange a factory visit. Unfortunately I had to head back to Wolfsburg before I could take up the opportunity. This was the time of the fire breathing DTM cars :)

#15 Roberto Manzolla

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 20:04

Thanks men !

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:clap:

#16 GrzegorzChyla

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 20:37

Originally posted by MODE


It think it appeared for the first time at Hockenheim 1986.


I remember a photo from 1st Hungarian Grand Prix (next race after Hockenheim) showing one car with West and another with East, and this photos was quoted 'West meets East at Hungaroring'.
IIRC the photo was taken during unpacking, on track they changed to all West.

BTW: 1986 and 1987 Hungarian GPs were my only GPs as a spectator.

#17 fines

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 20:39

Zakspeed was very successful in German "Touring Cars" (i.e. in the days of the infamous Groupe 5!) with turbocharged Ford engines, the same as Schnitzer with turbocharged BMWs. Those turbos started to appear in the late seventies, and very soon after turbocharging was the latest craze in F1. Some heads in Niederzissen and Freilassing thought "well, we have the know-how already, why don't we...?" Schnitzer backed out after first Josef Schnitzer died, and then BMW started their own F1 programme, but Zakspeed did have no likewise reservations and went ahead. I don't think the engine had any Ford connections, it was pure Zakspeed. Gutsy company, in my book... :up:

#18 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 20:58

Originally posted by GrzegorzChyla

.. on track they changed to all West.


GrzegorzChyla, wasn't it so that they drove the first session of free practice with one car East and one car West?

What I recall of Zakspeed F1:

- The team looked very professionel for its era: all mechanics in clean fresh gear, all clean cars, etc
- They had a fan club in Germany in order to promote enthusiasm min Germany. You could buy left over parts of the cars through this club: wheels, winglets, stickers etc.
- Their presentation car was painted in a blue-ish silver metallic paint with thin blue and red lines, very neat. It was dubbed as the new Silberpfeile at the time. It surprised when it went racing red-white.
- The cars had the looks, but couldn't find the speed.
- The flat plane on the engine hood, see also Robert Manzolla's pic, was ment to creat clean air for the rear wing. It was not a break through design.

#19 petefenelon

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 21:54

The Yamaha V8 was a farce. Their 'own' V12 wasn't much better either.

Yamaha had offered 5vpc heads to Cosworth for the DFR, claiming that they were good for a lot more horses than the well-proven 4vpc heads. Cosworth put them on the dyno and apparently DKD FAXed Yamaha and said they needed to send out a search party to find the pool of horsepower that had leaked out onto the floor... they were no better than (and heavier and more complex than) 4vpc heads. (Rather similar to Team Lotus' experience with the 5vpc Tickford-headed Judds).

So they cobbled together their own V8 for them, based I think on narrow-angle version of their DFV-like Japanese F3000 engine.

Zakspeed needed an engine after the turbos had been banned, Yamaha needed someone who needed an engine, and the deal was done.

Both the performance and reliability of the Yamahas was awful - the longevity was often measured in seconds not hours, and despite the '89 Zakspeed being an exquisitely packaged little car the performance wasn't up to much either. Their record was I think 31 DNPQs and 1 DNQ in '89.

When they came back with the V12 for Brabham there were hopes that they'd 'seen sense' but the engine seemed to be little better than a leaky pressure cooker - Reynard were going to use it at one point, but pulled out of F1 in the middle of a financial crisis - even they had worked out it was gutless and were shocked at how much heat the thing put out. Eddie Jordan adopted for '92 it because he didn't have to pay, pure and simple - it gave him a chance to try to pay off the debt to Cosworth. He must've known he was virtually defrauding his drivers...

Now, does anyone remember the Yamaha-engined supercar that was mooted at about that point? OX-99?

From '93 onwards 'Yamaha' engines tended to be Judd-based, and at least not totally farcical.

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#20 macoran

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 22:18

Originally posted by Arjan de Roos


GrzegorzChyla, wasn't it so that they drove the first session of free practice with one car East and one car West?

What I recall of Zakspeed F1:

- The team looked very professionel for its era: all mechanics in clean fresh gear, all clean cars, etc
- They had a fan club in Germany in order to promote enthusiasm min Germany. You could buy left over parts of the cars through this club: wheels, winglets, stickers etc.
- Their presentation car was painted in a blue-ish silver metallic paint with thin blue and red lines, very neat. It was dubbed as the new Silberpfeile at the time. It surprised when it went racing red-white.
- The cars had the looks, but couldn't find the speed.
- The flat plane on the engine hood, see also Robert Manzolla's pic, was ment to creat clean air for the rear wing. It was not a break through design.


Arjan, wasn't the name change a political wink to get Russian sponsorship ? I am sure tobacco sponsorship wasn't an issue then...yet ?
I remember a business friend renaming his sailing ship from Westward Ahoy to Eastward Ahoy (or the other way round) to attract tourists from behind the curtain.

Just looked up the introduction articles in Auto und Moto Sport, indeed the new Silberpfeile looked the part!

Were they that up to date on "aero" to create the flat plane behind the airbox ( I don't even think it is an airbox) to get clean flow to the wing?... or were they trying to extract as much heat as possible from the "hip" mounted turbo?

#21 macoran

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 22:20

Originally posted by petefenelon

Now, does anyone remember the Yamaha-engined supercar that was mooted at about that point? OX-99?


Now that was good looker !! did it ever turn a wheel ?

Nose-bridge wing before McLaren were even diaper dry.

#22 rx-guru

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 22:34

Originally posted by Arjan de Roos
- The flat plane on the engine hood, see also Robert Manzolla's pic, was ment to creat clean air for the rear wing. It was not a break through design.


"Robert Manzolla’s pic" was actually taken by Lothar Spurzem and has been "adopted" from the Wikipedia without the necessary credit…

http://de.wikipedia....than_Palmer.jpg

#23 dnhrudi

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 03:49

If memory serves; Peter, Erics son, had on a number of occasions in the 90's expressed planning to re enter F1, but nothing ever came from it. I am not aware how serious their planning became but did have a sense that Peter considered F1 unfinished business.....

#24 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:36

What I recall was that about 8 years ago Peter was hunting to buy Arrows. He was helped by a politician for financial backing as they thought another F1 team in Germany would be good for local employment.

#25 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 07:47

Originally posted by macoran


Arjan, wasn't the name change a political wink to get Russian sponsorship ? I am sure tobacco sponsorship wasn't an issue then...yet ?
..........
Were they that up to date on "aero" to create the flat plane behind the airbox ( I don't even think it is an airbox) to get clean flow to the wing?... or were they trying to extract as much heat as possible from the "hip" mounted turbo?


I believe it was a practical joke by Zakowski to get some attention. At that time it was still quite a novelty to have an eveny "behind" the iron curtain. I mean the Berlin wall was still there, and the borders to western europe were still shut. So publicity was assured, it was only a matter of getting the cameras click in their direction.
Tobacco's were still cool at the time ;-)

I believe it was "just" an idea of Paul Brown and Chris Murphy. It was tried and later not repeated. I think they were "only" looking for rear wing efficiency.

#26 Geza Sury

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 12:06

Originally posted by Roberto Manzolla
Hello,
Does anyone know why the engine Zakspeed was a 4-cylinder in-line ?
What was its base ? Was it a pure creation or a modified database ?
:smoking:

Erich Zakowski said in an interview once that when they had started the F1 project, the BMW turbos had been the best engine, so that's whay they have gone for the 4-cylinder in-line route.

Concerning the 1986 Hungarian GP and Zakspeed, click here to learn more: http://forums.autosp...075

#27 Marcel Visbeen

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 12:42

Originally posted by macoran


I am sure tobacco sponsorship wasn't an issue then...yet ?


In fact it was: tobacco sponsorship has been banned from the German GP from 1976 onwards. Don't know about other countries.

#28 Andretti Fan

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 17:28

John Watson test drove the OX-99, I remember seeing a test of it in On Track I think, and there was suppose to be a limited production run, but I don't remember ever hearing if any were actually built and delivered to customers.

( Now I'm gonna have to drag all my On Track's out of storage and re read all of em. I have just about every issue from late fall 89 till about a year before they stopped publication. And I think I'm missing about 5 or 6 issues of Racer since I bought issue 1.)

#29 Benway

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 21:22

Tobacco sponsoring on cars was also banned in Britain from the early 80ies onwards.

#30 cpbell

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 12:58

Originally posted by HistoryFan
In all races in which tabacco-sponsering was not allowed. In the years with McLaren west wrote the name of the drivers instead of West in the West-Logo in races, in which tobacco-spondering wasn't allowed. You remember David and Mika at the side of the car. And with Zakspeed they wrote East instead of west.


Thanks - I realised why they did it - I just wondered where it hapened. I presume it was also the case in 1987?

#31 Phil Rainford

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Posted 16 December 2007 - 21:34

The Zakspeed team Brands Hatch 1986

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Team number one Jonathan Palmer

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Team number two Huub Rothengatter

Kind regards

Phil

#32 rx-guru

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 19:47

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© Eddi Laumanns (aka rx-guru)

Day One of "Mjølner" aka "Mjöllnir" or "Thor’s Hammer":
Norwegian Rallycross ace Martin Schanche and his German 560bhp Zakspeed engine supplier Erich Zakowski pictured with Schanche’s brand new Ford Escort XR3 T16 4x4 (aka "the first ever Xtrac") during the 1983 British Rallycross Grand Prix at the Brands Hatch Circuit.

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

#33 drivers71

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 09:48

Can't help feeling the sentiments expressed here, regarding their unsuccessful F1 efforts, are somewhat unrepresentative of the true contribution Zakspeed made to motor racing, both in Germany and far beyond.
Their modified Escorts and Capris dominated Touring Car racing in many classes and basically set standards that many others struggled to match. The Zakspeed Capris, in their various guises, became truly magnificent racers, at a time when the German Group 5 series was arguably at its peak.
I consider myself fortunate to have seen these monsters in action at Donington Park in 1980, and although it was a no-points round of the German G5 championship, these thunderous beasts provided a sight that will always remain with me.

Klaus Niedzwiedz was driving #53, while Klaus Ludwig was in #1

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#34 wildman

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 15:47

Of course those fire-breathing Capris became fire-breathing Mustangs in IMSA in 1981 and '82.

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Klaus Ludwig's Roush-Zakspeed Mustang, Laguna Seca, 1982

By 1984, the Mustang had evolved into a full-fledged GTP, its front-engine configuration predating the Panoz GTR-1 by 13 years.
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Klaus Ludwig's Zakspeed Mustang GTP, Laguna Seca, 1984

The Mustang GTP was a disappointment, however, and in 1985, Zakspeed fielded the more conventional Mustang Probe, still with the inline-4 turbo:
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Klaus Ludwig's Zakspeed Mustang Probe, Laguna Seca, 1985

#35 Nordic

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Posted 29 October 2008 - 16:22

Before Ford killed the C100 program Zakspeed ran a couple in the German DRM Gp C series winning a couple of times in 1982

In 83 they turned up with the Zakspeed/Thompson C1/4, that looked alot like C100's but ran with the 4 cylinder turbo Zakspeed relied on in one car and a V8 in another.

I think around this time Zakspeed were also involved in the next generation of the C100 before it got halted.

In 84 both cars used V8s but by then the Porsche 956 had arrived and results were not so good.

For 85 the cars were on private hands and faded from view.