25 years of ZF Race Engineering
Over the last 25 years ZF Races Engineering has celebrated many successes including Christian Engelhart’s continuing achievements as ZF brand ambassador

ZF Race Engineering celebrates 25 years of supporting the motorsport industry

July marks 25 years of ZF Race Engineering. Founded in July 1998, ZF Race Engineering began its journey to where it is today. The amalgamation of technologies and expertise grounded in more than 125 years of motorsport history has developed into a diverse business that supports the motorsport industry and beyond.

Spanning the decades, five consecutive Formula 1 titles have been won with ZF products making ZF one of the longest running successes in motorsport.  Within the DTM (German Touring Car Masters), ZF also made its mark as it transferred the race engineering knowhow into the special series market where it delivers suspension struts to the current generation of the legendary 911 GT3 and GT3 RS vehicles having the latest generation of the ZF CDCivo valves on it.  Whether it’s club sports drivers, Le Mans winners, DTM Champions, Formula 1 race drivers or World Rally Champions – nationally and worldwide, the world’s best racers rely on high-calibre technology by ZF when it comes to electric and conventional powertrains and suspensions products. 

2003 saw the name change to ZF Sachs Race Engineering where the business integrated the Sachs brand into the portfolio to strengthen the already established high-performance focus.  To the support the target to strengthen the promotion of all ZF businesses, later the Sachs name was replaced in July 2012 by ZF Race Engineering.  

The name ZF Race Engineering was chosen to demonstrate the business’s focus on all elements of the engineering expertise involved in motorsport and special series markets.  ZF components and systems contribute to many successes in Formula 1, Formula E, Grand Prix cars and racing trucks to name a few.

The long-standing involvement with the World Rally Championship (WRC) over the decades has seen ZF Race Engineering demonstrate its strength in the suspension market.  In particular, the partnership with Volkswagen Motorsport showcased the engineering expertise gained over the past decades in high-performance motorsport resulting in four consecutive drivers and manufacturer championships in the WRC. Our latest partner Kristofferson Motorsport benefits from our knowledge and experience gained in previous years with WRC and relies on the FIA WRC World Champion suspension struts developed and produced in our Schweinfurt facility. The monotube damper is integrated into the aluminium McPherson struts 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.  Examine the technology involved in the World Championship dampers in the Volkswagen Polo WRC.  Built for extreme stress, the rally shock absorbers provide outstanding suspension in dust, gravel, mud, snow for driving, drifting and gliding.

Beside the successes in WRC, ZF Race Engineering can look on a huge quantity of successes in FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), Le Mans 24 Hours, DTM, Porsche Supercup, N Nürburgring 24 Hours and Porsche Carrera Cup. ZF Race Engineering technology gives drivers the freedom to push their vehicles to the limits with superior shock absorber performance.

When commenting on the upcoming celebration, Sascha Ricanek, Managing Director of ZF Race Engineering commented: "With 25 years of ZF Race Engineering, we are celebrating a major milestone. More than 125 years of ZF Motorsport expertise was brought together in our company in 1998 to create a full-service provider for customers with special motorsport requirements. Sincere thanks go to our employees and the Schweinfurt site for this achievement. I look forward to the years ahead and am convinced that as a Race we will continue to play a key role in national and international racing competitions around the world."

The future will see the business continuing to expand its reach, moving into markets that offer new opportunities and exciting technological innovations. ZF Race Engineering is transforming from a motorsport only portfolio to follow the ZF Way into Next Generation Mobility. Deriving the technology and knowledge earned in motorsport for high-performance street cars and hypercars, special series offers us a wide range of new customers and business potential. The next step has been the aggregation of all motorbike activities in ZF in the system house of motorbike. Having taken over the development project “ZF Space Cube” from the ZF Innovation Factory, this opens a new market and customer segment for simulation and gaming market.  As an originally automotive-focused "Steer-by-Wire Unit", the adaptability of this innovative product demonstrates its ability to serve multiple purposes in the E-sports industry, showcasing its potential for precise control and ultimate realistic steering experiences.

ZF Race Engineering continues to develop and push ZF products to the high performance limit. Here’s to the next 25 years and beyond. The Best for the Best!