Schweinfurt. The winning streak continues: in 2016, the ZF partners won the World Rally Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship WEC as well as the 24 Hours of Le Mans as outstanding competitions. The teams relying on ZF claimed more than 200 race wins worldwide. ZF partner Volkswagen has been crowned World Rally Champions for the fourth consecutive time in 2016. The FIA WEC winners will also drive to championship glory with a ZF clutch – just like Le Mans winner Porsche. The DTM drivers also rely exclusively on ZF. Not only does the ZF brand enjoy great visibility as official DTM partner, but also through its partnership with Super GT in Japan and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in the United States of America. ZF is also involved as official supplier of BMW Motorsport, Honda Performance Development, Porsche Motorsport, Toyota Hybrid, Volkswagen Motorsport and the Venturi Formula E Team.
World Rally Championship WRC
Unbeaten: Volkswagen has won the World Rally Championship for the fourth consecutive time in 2016. Sébastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia celebrated their fourth title in Spain after the eleventh of 13 rounds, and Volkswagen also defended the title in the manufacturers’ classification.
The Volkswagen Polo WRC has won no less than 40 of 49 rallies since its debut in 2013 to the Rally Spain in 2016. The powerful 318 hp engine in the Polo WRC transfers its torque via a ZF twin plate clutch from the Racing Clutch Systems (RCS) family. The shock absorbers are also highly stressed in rallying with its jumps, crests and gravel tracks. The ZF mono-tube damper is integrated into the McPherson suspension on all four wheels, and assumes the job of not merely damping the oscillations, but also controls the wheels. ZF allowed for 300 millimetres of spring travel during design of the damper.
Formula 1 World Championship
The ZF Friedrichshafen AG equips five teams in the 2015 Formula 1 season. Scuderia Ferrari relies, as does the Sauber F1 Team, Haas Racing and Toro Rosso F1, on the damper technology from Germany. Red Bull uses ZF clutches.
FIA World Endurance Championship WEC and 24 Hours of Le Mans
More than 250,000 spectators at trackside witnessed a historic 24 Hours of Le Mans: Porsche celebrated its 18th victory on the Sarthe – no other brand has won so often. The winning Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Romain Dumas, Neel Jani, Marc Lieb and those of their team mates are equipped with ZF clutches. Porsche’s two toughest opponents also rely on ZF clutches – ZF partner Toyota with the TS050 Hybrid and Audi with the R18 e-tron quattro. Le Mans is the most important race in the FIA World Endurance Championship WEC.
Marco Wittmann (BMW) has celebrated his second driver´s championship title in the DTM in 2016. The Belgian Maxime Martin, who drives the ZF-Samsung-M4 DTM has finished 8th in the drivers’ classification and has also taken two podiums this season. All three automobile manufacturers rely exclusively clutches from ZF Friedrichshafen AG. In additions, ZF is ‘Official Partner BMW Motorsport’. The Formula Carbon Clutch 4/140Y motorsports component is equipped with four carbon plates. They transmit torque of up to 900 Newton metres and, for reasons of high cost-efficiency, are designed for long durability.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
In the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, which is held as a one-make cup during Formula 1 race weekends, , Porsche Junior Sven Müller won the driver´s championship in 2016. All drivers use the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, based on the street approved 911 GT3 RS. ZF supplies shock absorbers and racing clutches for all Porsche Supercup race cars.
24 Hours Nürburgring
For Germany’s greatest endurance race, 13 of the first 20 teams relied on ZF Race Engineering components – including five of the top ten teams in the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring. The GT cars of Audi, Porsche and BMW are equipped with ZF clutches among others.
Porsche Carrera Cup
Sven Müller celebrated no less than ten wins in the races of Germany’s fastest one-make cup, and crowned himself champion. Christian Engelhart, who is being sponsored by ZF TRW as part of the TRW integration proccess , finished in 2nd place of the driver´s ranking. The drivers race in identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars. The GT racecars are equipped with ZF gas-filled shock absorbers and clutches. A sensitive approach to using the clutch and a good racecar set-up can make a crucial difference in the fight for tenths of a second.
ZF is active in many other motorsports categories worldwide. In Japan, the GT500 class of the Super GT uses clutches made in Schweinfurt. In the Global Rallycross Championship and the Audi TT Cup, dampers from ZF are at work. Teams contesting the car and truck categories in the Rally Dakar rely on various ZF products. Different one-make cups such as the ADAC Opel Rallye Cup use ZF clutches, the 8HP automatic transmission is used in the BMW M235i Racing Cup. In the U.S. many teams in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship rely on products from ZF Race Engineering as well as in single-seater racing from Formula 4, Formula Renault to the Super Formula.