1981 Zakspeed Capri

1981 Zakspeed Capri ZAK-G5C 001/81



ZAK G5C 001/81

From  1977 the DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft) rules allowed Group 5 cars to be admitted into the series. This was in essence a "silhouette" formula, where only  the vestigial remains of the original  car were required, and this spawned some amazing machinery, many of which were more powerful than the F1 cars of that period. One of the key players in this magnificent 5 year period were the German motorsport team Zakspeed, who initially entered into the Gp.5 class in 1977 with the Mk2 Escort,(the first of which we are also offering for sale) and they had a lot of success. However, they soon realised that to be outright contenders in the Division 1 category, and to take on the Porsche 935 and BMW M1 head on, a much faster car would be required.

With support from Ford of Germany, Zakspeed created these amazing machines at their factory in Niederzissen. 80 metres of aluminium tubing were used in the construction of the spaceframe,  the aerodynamics were developed in the wind tunnel at Aachen University using a 1/4 scale model, and the Capri featured a new turbo iron block BDA engine of initially of 1427cc capacity, which made around 380hp to begin with. Late in the 1978 season, the Turbo Capri was entered, driven by regular Escort driver Hans Heyer, in that familiar "Mampe" livery which had adorned the Escorts of previous years. Although there were reliability problems at first, it was obvious early on that this car had what it would take to win the championship, and before the year was out Heyer took his first win at the Nurburgring in the Capri.    

Chassis ZAK-G5C 001/81 which is being offered for sale here was the last of 7 Capris  built by Zakspeed in period, and is one of only two Capri’s which featured a full length underfloor venturi tunnel with flexible side skirts, sealing the underside of the car to the track and giving the cars a massive increase in downforce (following the controversial banning of the "big wing" car in 1980) It was also built with an enlarged version of the BDA measuring 1745cc (and produced up to 650hp in qualifying trim)  which put it in the Division 1 category, and placed it head to head with the mighty Porsche 935’s and BMW M1’s, one of the quickest being the Kremer 935 driven by Bob Wollek.

This Capri, running the famous Liqui Moly/Nigrin livery was driven by ex F1 and Sport car racer Manfred Winkelhock, and winning on several occasions in 1981 earned this Capri the name “the 935 Killer”. In 1982 it was painted in the white/blue D&W livery and driven in the DRM by Klaus Niedwedz, one of the highlights was posting an amazing lap time of 7:08.59 around the Nurburgring Nordschleife, just 10 seconds shy of Niki Lauda’s time in the Ferrari F1 car of 1975. Zakspeed also began running the Capri in 1982 with the aluminium block BDT engine, from the RS1700T program. For 1983 the car was run sporadically in the DRM by Zakspeed, which was now running Group C Sportcars, and driven by various drivers.

This particular car has been owned by Zakspeed from new until 2018, and was completely restored by them in recent years, and is currently presented in the white Wurth livery. It now features an aluminium block 1860cc engine, and includes the original Wagenpass. This car has been used sparingly in recent years at demonstration events and only raced once by Peter Zakowski since being restored. This car is on the button and ready to race, or would be right at home in any high end collection or museum.