Klaus Zygar on the fascination of formula racing cars

Always on the limit – “always on BILSTEIN”

In road traffic, Klaus Zygar is an absolutely reserved, prudent and defensive person. In fact, Klaus Zygar drives so carefully that Deutsche Verkehrswacht (German Association for Prevention of Road Accidents) felt compelled to honour him for 45 years of accident-free driving. But when it comes to the racetrack, the man from Rosenheim in Bavaria is blowing the horn for attack.

Klaus has been involved in motorsport since 1977. First he drove an Opel Manta A in various touring car races. However, his true passion was to become formula racing cars. The Monoposto fan devoted a lot of free time and probably even more money for his passion: “In Formula V I celebrated my greatest successes. I was working in India at the time and regularly flew home for the races,” Klaus remembers. Numerous cups testify to his success both in hill climbs and on the circuit: Bavarian Champion, Southern Bavarian ADAC hill climb champion, runner-up in the German Formula V 1300 Circuit Cup, the list is long.

Motorsport has ever captivated the top-fit athlete and martial arts enthusiast: Even today, the man in his mid-sixties still regularly competes in races and regularity rallies with his cars. And Klaus still likes it extreme: The fleet includes a Formula V Zagk 13/8 with 135 hp and a Van Diemen Kawasaki with 210 hp as well as a downright crazy power-to-weight ratio of 2.05 kg/hp. The 320 hp Porsche 928 S4, converted into a racing car, is mostly driven by his son Alain.

Why does Klaus, at an advanced age, still take the sweaty risk of pushing his fast and extremely agile formula racers to the limit? – “I have always identified myself with these vehicles. Without a doubt, there is a big difference between touring car driving and formula driving. You don’t have crumple zones and with the open wheels there is always a certain risk, especially when you are in contact with others,” admits Klaus. “But this special man-machine relationship has always fascinated me. The speeds and accelerations are quite a challenge”. To get the performance on the road, you need top suspension. Klaus confirms: “The be-all and end-all in motorsport is always the suspension. Especially with a formula car”.

“I’ve been driving on BILSTEIN since the 1980s. The Formula V has always made use of BILSTEIN. In every car, wherever possible, we try to install BILSTEIN. I just trust the products,” explains Klaus.

This is also the case with the Van Diemen, the formula car with the 1000cc 210hp engine. “The Van Diemen was extremely nervous at the beginning, and hardly controllable at the limit,” says Klaus. “We completely readjusted the suspension and, together with BILSTEIN, adapted new shock absorbers to my driving style and the car”.

That worked immediately: At the Czech round of the “FIA International Hill Climb Cup” 2019 the man from Rosenheim had opted for 1600 ccm – and had the competition in the class safely under control.