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. Racing driver Hans Heyer was quick to take pole position for the Capri's first race, in which he dominated, until a technical failure forced him to retire.
Title holder Harald Ertl understood the value of this new car and in 1979, he switched to Zakspeed bringing his sponsor Sachs with him. Consequently, there were now two Zakspeed among the field, one for Ertl and the other for Heyer. Zakspeed would have won the title that year had it not been for a few non-finishes which meant they could only manage second in the championship, just behind the Porsche 935 of Klaus Ludwig.
At the start of the 1980 season, Klaus Ludwig was enlisted to take the wheel of this car. He won five times despite losing 23 points due to claims against the dimensions of the large spoiler. Tensions were high between Kremer (Porsche) and Ford. As a result, Ludwig finished third in the championship with team mates 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. Ludwig was unbeatable and won 10 races, as well as the actual championship title.
Artcurial will be offering this 1979 Ford Zakspeed Capri Turbo Group 5 at their upcoming Le Mans Classic Sale on the 7th July. Its estimated value is between €550,000 - €750,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos © Peter Singhof.