Back to the drawing board for 1980!
Despite seven victories in Division 2 of the DRM in 1979, Zakspeed Ford had failed to win the overall championship due to the huge numbers advantage that Porsche had in Division 1 (which, on paper at least, looked like a one-make series). Frustrated at this, Ford devised a plan to compromise Porsche's advantage by fielding a 1.7 ltr Div 1 version of the Capri.
Initially, the larger engine was tested in Hans Heyer's 1979 chassis (ZAK 05C 002.79) at the penultimate round of the 1979 championship (Hockenheim, 2nd September). This is the #3 car shown in the gallery. The engine was bored out to 1745cc, boosting power to between 550 and 700 bhp (depending on boost). The only changes made to the car were to the engine and Heyer managed to get the car in amongst the Porches, finishing in third place only three seconds down.
Over the winter, the engine was refined and a new chassis (ZAK G5C-0-001/80) was built to house it. An attempt was made to increase rear end grip by designing a huge full width rear wing (see above). Heyer quit Zakspeed for GS Tuning and was replaced by Divsion 1 Porsche ace 'King' Klaus Ludwig. Ludwig easily took the first four races and looked to be on course for overall victory.
Unfortunately however, it wasn't long before a row broke out over the new wing. As the width of the structure exceeded the bodywork, it's legality was brought into question by Zakspeed's competitors. The design was eventually outlawed by the race authorities and Ludwig was thus stripped of points gained from the two opening rounds at Zolder and the Nurburgring. By way of compensation, Ford/Zakspeed introduced further aero modifications including a Formula One style ground effect tunnel and side skirts and gained five more uncontested Division 1 victories over the season. This was enough to give Ludwig the Division 1 title - but the deducted points relegated him to third in the overall championship.
For the record, the big wing car competed in only four races - two at the Nurburgring (March and April) and once each at Zolder and Hockenheim (March and April).