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Old 4 Nov 2023, 18:04 (Ref:4184416)   #1
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Erich Zakowksi (Zakspeed)

Erich Zakowski, founder of the Zakspeed tuning concern and Formula 1 team, has died at the age of 89.

Far more successful in touring cars, GTs and sportscars Zakspeed had a disappointing five-year spell in grand prix racing from 1985 to 1989, logging a single points finish.

After WW2 Zakowski's family moved from Prussia and eventually settled in the town of Niederzissen, not far from the Nurburgring, where he trained as a mechanic and set up his own garage and eventually racing team.

From the start Zakspeed was closely associated with Ford, running touring and GT cars in Germany and elsewhere. The organisation achieved huge success in the DRM – a forerunner of the DTM – with its outlandish Capris, while also competing in IMSA with Mustangs.

Zakspeed's Ford links reached a peak in sportscar racing with the works Ford C100, which was supposed to be the successor to the legendary GT40, with designer Len Bailey providing a direct link between the projects.

First seen at the 1981 Brands Hatch 1000kms and later reworked by Tony Southgate, the car achieved little, despite being raced by contemporary F1 drivers Marc Surer and Manfred Winkelhock and Zakspeed regular Klaus Ludwig.

After Ford ended its official involvement in the sportscar project Zakspeed continued to run a development of the car under its own name.

The company took a different direction when it entered F1 in 1985 with an ambitious project that included its own 1.5-litre turbo engine while continuing to run with some success in the DTM.

The man behind one of the most beautiful racing cars in history: Ford Capri turbo group 5.

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