Find here spectacular scenes with technological features and ZF in motorsports
ZF has a long tradition in supplying Formula 1 teams with products. In 1937 the first Mercedes silver arrows already won their races with clutches and shock absorbers of the ZF product brand Sachs.
Set against a backdrop of one of the most spectacular cities in the world, the electric racers from ZF's partner Venturi took their place at the starting line in the penultimate race of the season.
Eight overall victories in the last ten years are proof of the extraordinary success story of ZF Race Engineering at this world renowned race track. Almost traditionally, many of the teams this year relied on products from Schweinfurt. More than 60% of the almost 200 participating teams have equipped their cars with clutches or shock absorbers from ZF Race Engineering. The 2017 race was again very successful from a ZF perspective: The Audi R8 LMS from Land managed the overall victory and with ROWE-BMW as well as another R8 LMS of Team WRT, all three steps of the podium were occupied with teams using ZF clutches.
On June 17/18 the small town of Le Mans in France will see the 85th edition of another classic endurance race: the legendary 24h of Le Mans. Once again, the best teams will use ZF technology. In the prototype class LMP1 Porsche and Toyota are fighting for the overall victory with ZF clutches. Around 60 teams are hoping for the elusive victory in one of the biggest races in worldwide motorsports. In the last 19 years, ZF supplied the overall winner of the race 18 times, a very remarkable statistic.
The legendary GTI festival at the Wörthersee in Austria saw its 36th edition in 2017. It is the biggest event of its kind in Europe and one of the biggest worldwide. The beginnings were quite modest: The former tourism director of Maria Wörth came up with the idea to organize a fan event for GTI drivers in 1982. During the first edition only about 160 GTI drivers followed the invitation, but over the next years, the festival saw a large increase in visitors. Nowadays, the GTI festival draws up to 200,000 visitors per year to Southern Austria.
ZF Race Engineering visited the festival with a booth, which was frequented heavily during the whole event. For Markus Höckelmann, Aftermarket Manager at ZF Race Engineering, the ZF appearance at the Wörthersee event was a resounding success: „An event like this is very valuable for us. We are showcasing our SACHS Performance products directly in the middle of our target group. If we can convince these knowledgeable tuning experts of the quality of our products, this can mean some immediate new sales potential for ZF Race Engineering.“
The weekend started off with a very successful qualifying session, where Christian set the two best lap times to secure the pole position in both races of the weekend.
The race on Saturday was very close. After a difficult start Christian lost the lead, but still managed to secure a great second place after 18 laps, only 0.1 seconds behind the race winner Dennis Olsen. The second race on Sunday morning saw a much better start from Christian, who was able to defend the lead and set the pace. During the race, he pulled away from his competitors and in the end scored his 12th victory in a Porsche Carrera Cup race with a lead of almost six seconds.
After the Lausitzring weekend Christian ranks fourth in the driver´s championship, but he will be working hard to close the gap to the leaders in the scoreboard.
Christian Engelhart has been supported by TRW in the past. Since the 2015 season, ZF has continued the partnership. As part of the integration of ZF TRW, Christian represents ZF and ZF TRW as a brand ambassador with dominant brandings on his Carrera Cup car in Europe’s fastest one-make cup.
At no other tuning event can tuning enthusiasts and car aficcionados mingle at this level. From its beginnings as an insider secret in 2003, Tuning World Bodensee has become the absolute highlight of the tuning scene – for industry reps, tuning fans and visitors alike. Today, Tuning World Bodensee is Europe’s biggest trade fair dedicated solely to tuning. Unique presentations and event modules have become yardsticks for other exhibitions to follow, and the newly introduced European Tuning Showdown (ETS) has also proved a massive audience draw.
ZF Race Engineering has continued its strategy to partner up with sales partner F&F Retrofittings during the Tuning World Bodensee. The trade show booth has again been enriched with two fantastic show cars of F&F, thus attracting even more visitors to the ZF booth.
Markus Höckelmann, aftermarket manager at ZF Race Engineering: “We were very happy with our presence at this trade show in ZF´s home region at Lake Constance. We had the chance to talk to many of our existing customers and create new business opportunities. Additionally, we have met many potential new customers and will definitely be back for the 2018 show.”
Stephane Sarrazin encountered technical problems in the qualifying session. For an engine change following a shut-down on his qualifying lap he received a grid penalty – forcing him to start into the race from the very end of the grid – plus a 10-second penalty. No promising initial position for the Frenchman. Tom Dillmann was the team’s reserve driver replacing its Formula E regular Maro Engel, who couldn’t contest the race due to scheduling conflicts. In his first Formula E qualifying session Dillmann finished 15th, just 0.4 seconds behind pole-setter Sebastien Buemi.
“I made a too conservative start into my qualifying lap that cost me valuable time in sector one – but I think that I’m well prepared for the race,” Dillmann confidently said after the qualifying session. The race should turn out to be even more turbulent. Dillmann had a good start and passed Di Grassi, currently second in the championship, in turn one to hold 12th position up to the first of three yellow-flag periods. And Stephane Sarrazin also had made up for some of the lost ground, at this point in time.
Following a close encounter of Di Grassi and Felix da Costa the latter crashed into the walls. So, just like in Monaco, all the planned pit-stop strategies proved to be obsolete as nearly all the teams used this Full Course Yellow to call their drivers in for the obligatory car swap. Temporarily Dillmann and Sarrazin held 10th and 12th positions but things should turn out even better for the two Venturi drivers. Thanks to a second Full Course Yellow, caused Jean-Eric Vergne who held second position at this point in time, and a penalty for di Grassi, the Venturi pairing finished eighth and tenth respectively, in the end. Consequently, it was the second time this season that both Venturi drivers made it to the top 10.
Team Manager Delphine Biscaye was happy with the squad’s achievements: “It wasn’t easy. Due to the failure on Stephane’s car the team had to work really hard to complete the engine change in time for the race. But Stephane rewarded us with his sensational comeback, today, and Tom demonstrated that we made the right decision when choosing him as our reserve driver.“
The next race meeting, in Berlin Tempelhof, will be held on 10th and 11th June. It will be the first event featuring head-to-head races this year. In Berlin, the Monaco based Formula E team will be represented by the Venturi regulars Maro Engel and Stephane Sarrazin.
There are many different teams and partners from various racing categories, who use high-tech products from ZF Race Engineering in Schweinfurt. In Formula 1, six teams currently use ZF clutches and shock absorbers, among them Ferrari and Red Bull, some of the most competitive teams. In German touring car series DTM, clutches from ZF Race Engineering are featured in all participating cars from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. The same clutches are helping numerous cars in the Japanese Super GT championship to produce a perfect start. In the U.S., many teams in IMSA SportsCar Championship rely on ZF products. In the Australian V8 Supercars shock absorbers from ZF are traditionally used by most of the competing cars and manufacturers, e.g. by serial champion Triple Eight Engineering. But also legendary events such as Rally Dakar or the 24h of Le Mans have been won by teams, who trust in ZF products for several years, such as Peugeot, Kamaz and Porsche.
In addition to that, ZF equips many international one-make cups and young formula series with products, e.g. Formula 4, Super Formula, Formula 3, Porsche Carrera Cups worldwide, Audi TT Cup, Opel Adam Rallye Cup or the BMW 235i Racing Cup.
In trending series such as Global RallyCross Championship or FIA World RallyCross Championship, many teams, who want to benefit from the long and very successful partnership of ZF with Volkswagen Motorsport in WRC, also rely on powerful shock absorbers by ZF.