Global Motorsport Activities of the ZF Group
ZF Race Engineering
ZF Race Engineering has quietly, yet steadily been contributing to the company’s success for many decades. With a long-standing reputation for superior quality and a long history, ZF motorsports is slowly taking its place in the spotlight — and rightfully so.
After ZF acquired Mannesmann Sachs AG in 2001, the business became ZF Sachs, and ZF’s racing history suddenly evolved into one that spanned over an array of countries and racing circuits. ZF Sachs could trace its roots to a history that involved classic racing landmarks, like the first Mercedes “Silver Arrows”—which were equipped with Sachs shock absorbers and clutches. Since then, ZF has become a technology partner for various renowned motorsports teams around the world.
ZF’s North American Race Engineering group readily supports motorsports teams in the U.S. and upholds ZF’s reputation for high standards and expert know-how on and off the track. And while the North American racing team can attribute countless accomplishments to its name, its smaller size means that those achievements are accompanied by more hours in the shop and at the track—all at an accelerated pace.
Speed — as important as it is on the race track — is as equally essential for the ZF team before the race ever begins. Oftentimes, ZF supports many teams in one race, which means there are several customers — some of them with more than one car in the race — that require ZF’s products and skills at the same event.
“In March’s Sebring 12-hour race, we had 22 cars out of a 42 car entry list that used one or more components from ZF. At the same time, we had to support another field of 32 Porsche Cup cars that used ZF shock absorbers and clutches exclusively on every car,” said Mehmet Ozerman, Motorsports Manager of ZF Race Engineering. Not only does this make for a large customer base, it also means that ZF’s own race team needs to work efficiently so they can get their cars and drivers to the finish line! In this way, all members of the ZF team have their own race against time throughout various steps of the pre-race process.
Despite the fact that the ZF Race Engineering team has to oftentimes move swiftly, they never sacrifice the quality of their products. Ozerman explained the careful production process: “Among the many production steps, we have a strict supplier evaluation process, where we ensure our suppliers are capable to manufacture our components in line with the ZF Quality Guidelines. We then perform a very thorough incoming quality control for all the components before we receive the delivery of parts from our supplier to our system. ZF technicians follow assembly guidelines and specifications given by the engineering team to ensure the best end results.” Simply put, there is no room for error.
ZF’s relationships with its race teams aren’t simply a result of its quality products and processes. ZF Race Engineering’s relationship with motorsports teams is an exclusive one; in many ways, ZF functions as an extension of its customers, providing products and services which are unique to that team. ZF’s racing engineers often work with specific teams to create custom parts based on customers’ ideas and requirements. "Teamwork" then takes on a different meaning as cooperation is important in all parts of the development, production and racing processes.
Over time, ZF Race Engineering’s products and know-how have proven themselves on the racing circuit, and ZF’s success has grown. ZF has a presence in almost every racing activity, from the renowned Formula 1, World Rally Championships and ALMS to the smaller arena of club racing. From unique, custom-made parts to mass-produced ones, Race Engineering supports all levels of the racing series with various components—which makes for a successful past and an even brighter future.
ZF Race Engineering
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