1979 Ford Zakspeed Capri Turbo Groupe 5 For Sale by Auction
Chassis No ZAK-G5 C002/79 and in 1983 ZAK-C6 01/83
- Important race history
- Powerful and eligible car
- A milestone in Ford's history in competition
During the German Grand Prix in 1978, a DRM (Deutsche Rennsport Meistershaft) racing event was held as the opener for the main Formula 1 race. Throughout Friday's testing sessions, all eyes were on the Ford Zakspeed stand where the new "Super Capri" was making its first appearance: a new chapter in Ford's motor sport history was about to be written and, for the joy of every fan around the world, Ford would regain its place on racing circuits.
Much had happened since the success of the Capri RS and its cessation in 1975. Ford had decreased its racing department and sports activities had been largely outsourced to Zakspeed. Erik Zakowski and his team had already taken charge of the Escort programme with great success, winning four consecutive titles in the German championship. The "Super Capri" came to top this works off.
Ford Cologne and Aachen's technical team had developed the aerodynamic in the wind tunnel, Ford took charge of the engine and Zakspeed was responsible to work on the chassis. Around 70m of aluminium had been used for the structural part on which a Kevlar bodywork was attached to.
The Ford Escort BDA engine was the one selected, with a cubic capacity reduced to 1,426 cc which was, thanks to its 1.4 turbo pressure, coming to a mathematical cylinder capacity of 2 litres. Zakspeed could therefore choose to run in Division 2 dedicated to smallest engines or in Division 1 with a much bigger 1,800 cc BDA engine. The Capri was competing against the Porsche 935 and the Porsche Kremer K3 in Division 1. In Division 2, the BMW 320 armada had long dominated and Ford was hoping that the Capri would end this reign. The KKK turbocharger was showing a pressure of 1.3 and the performance was reaching around 500 hp. The pressure could be increased to 1.6 which was enabling the performance to achieve 600 hp, but only for a short period.
Racing driver Hans Heyer was quick to take pole position at Hockenheim for the Super Capri's first race, and he dominated the actual race until a technical failure forced him to retire. Reliability was quite a challenge at that time and the car did not finish any of the races for this season, except the last one at Nurburgring where Hans Heyer came victorious. These adjustment issues ended up getting sorted.
Title holder Harald Ertl understood the value of this new car and in 1979, he switched to Zakspeed and brought his sponsor Sachs with him. Consequently, there were now two Zakspeed among the participants: one for Harald Ertl and the other for Hans Heyer. Zakspeed was close to win the title but a few non-finished races meant that they could only manage second place in the championship, just behind the Porsche 935 of Klaus Ludwig. This is despite six victories with Heyer and two with Ertl.
Harald Ertl's car was fitted with chassis No. ZAK-G5C 002/79, which is the one we are offering for sale here. Its results during the 1979 season were successively as followed: win, third, retired, retired, win, retired, third, retired, retired, retired, second.
Before the start of the 1980 season, Zakspeed announced its participation in Division 1 against the big Porsche racing machines, with a bigger 1,750 cc engine fitted in the car producing 600 hp and aerodynamic equipment harnessing the ground effect, including a huge rear spoiler. Klaus Ludwig was enlisted to take the wheel of this car in Division 1. In Division 2, Hans Heyer had gone to Lancia and its LC1, consequently Klaus Niedzwiedz was joining Ludwig and Ertl on the Zakspeed team which now included three cars.
Ertl had five wins and Niedzwiedz had two of them with the 002/79 in Division 2. Ludwig won five times despite losing 23 points due to claims against the dimensions of the large spoiler. Tensions were high between Kremer and Ford. As a result, it's Heyer who ended up winning the championship with the Lancia LC1. At Zakspeed, Ludwig finished third, Niedzwiedz fifth and Ertl seventh.
In 1981, Klaus Ludwig was racing in Division 2, group in which cars had been fitted with aerodynamic characteristics used in Division 1 the year before. Harald Ertl changed team and Jurgen Hammelmann took his place in the 002/79. It is also noted that Manfred Winkelhock was on board the Division 1 car. Klaus Ludwig was unbeatable and won 10 races, as well as the actual championship title. As for Hammelmann, he achieved five third places and four fourth places with the 002/79. In Division 1, Winkelhock was continuing to step on the big Porsche's toes with six wins against the Porsche 935.
The regulation changed in 1982: due to a declining number of participants, prototypes were also invited to compete, which resulted in Group 5 cars being no longer competitive. Consequently, 002/79 was sold to hill climbing racing champion Herbert Stenger. Known as the "Berglowe" (the "mountain lion"), he was an expert in this field.
Stenger entered the car at the European Hill Climb Championship and won most of the 1982 season's racing events, which enabled him to claim the championship title. To remain competitive, Stenger brought the car back to Zakspeed between both the 1982 and 1983 seasons with the aim of modifying it into Group 6 configurations. In order to be homologated in this category at that time, the car had to have a chassis number specifying this same category. This is why Zakspeed changed the chassis number which became ZAK C6 01/83, while bringing the engine to 1,750 cc and 600 hp.
Stenger used this car during the first half of the 1983 season with these specifications but he then bought an Osella prototype, a more modern and faster car, and consequently stopped running the Capri Zakspeed.
It was then occasionally used at exhibitions and demonstrations, at Goodwood for instance in 2005, while being preserved in the Herbert Stenger family museum until his recent death.There are only five or six survivors of the Super Capri and they have played a vital role in the history and development of German motor sport. If getting it to start again, this car can be a highly competitive participant in historic racing events and can take part in the Group C category, a very popular one nowadays.
Racing history of the Ford Zakspeed Capri Turbo ZAK-G5C 002/79 - ZAK-C6 01/83
Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft 1979
11/3.79 Zolder Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
8/4. 79 Jim Clark rennen Hockenheim Harald Ertl 3rd Division 2
29/4.79 ADAC Eifel rennen Harald Ertl DNF
20/5.79 Salzburg rennen Harald Ertl DNF
17/6.79 Mainz-Finthen rennen Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
24/6.79 Norisring Harald Ertl 20th Division 2
17/7.79 ADAC trophy Zandvoort Harald Ertl 3rd Division 2
22/7.79 Diepholz Harald Ertl DNF
19/8.79 Zolder Harald Ertl DNF
2/9. 79 Hockenheim Harald Ertl DNF
23/9.79 Nürburgring Harald Ertl 2nd Division 2
23/3. 80 Zolder Harald Ertl 7th Division 2
30/3. 80 Nürburgring Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
13/4. 80 Hockenheim Harald Ertl 2nd Division 2
27/4. 80 Nürburgring Harald Ertl DNF
18/5. 80 Mainz-Finthen Harald Ertl 16th Division 2
1/6. 80 Spa Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
22/6. 80 Norisring Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
13/7. 80 Salzburgring Harald Ertl 2nd Division 2
27/7. 80 Diepholz Harald Ertl DNF
24/8. 80 Zolder Harald Ertl DNS
7/9. 80 Hockenheim Harald Ertl 1st Division 2
21/9. 80 Nürburgring Harald Ertl DNF
20/3. 81 Zolder Jürgen Hammelmann 3rd Division 2
29/3. 81 Nürburgring Jürgen Hammelmann 4th Division 2
5/4. 81 Hockenheim Jürgen Hammelmann 4th Division 2
25/4. 81 Nürburgring Jürgen Hammelmann DNS
17/5. 81 Mainz-Finthen Jürgen Hammelmann DNF
21/6. 81 Wunstorf Jürgen Hammelmann 4th Division 2
28/6. 81 Norisring Jürgen Hammelmann DNS
5/7. 81 Nürburgring Jürgen Hammelmann DNF
12/7. 81 Salzburgring Jürgen Hammelmann 3rd Division 2
1/8. 81 Hockenheim Jürgen Hammelmann 4th Division 2
23/8. 81 Zolder Jürgen Hammelmann 3rd Division 2
6/9. 81 Hockenheim Jürgen Hammelmann 3rd Division 2
20/9. 81 Nürburgring Jürgen Hammelmann 3rd Division 2
1982 European Hill Climb Championship, Group 5 specifications, Division 1
4/4. 82 Bergpr.Ampus_Drag Herbert Stenger 1st Overall Gr 5
9/5. 82 Alpl-Bergrennen Herbert Stenger 1st Overall Gr 5
16/5. 82 Handstein Bergrennen Herbert Stenger 1st in Class Gr 5
30/5.82 Monseny Bergrennen Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
13/6. 82 Rechberg Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
20/6. 82 Ecce-Homo Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
4/7. 82 Coppa Carotti Herrbert Stenger 1st Overall
18/7. 82 Coppa Teodori Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
25/7. 82 Coppa Sila Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
8/8. 82 Monte Dore Herbert Stenger 2nd
15/8. 82 St. Ursanne Herbert Stenger 2nd
29/8. 82 Schauinsland Herbert Stenger 1st Overall
Winner of the 1982 European Hill Climb Championship
In 1983, the car competed in the Hill Climb Championship in the Group 6 / C category.
Auction estimate: €550 000/750 000
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