In response to editorials which appeared in Autosport and Motoring News last winter asking Britsh circuit promoters to try to engage a German Group 5 race, Donington entered into discussions with Wolgang Scholler of the Interessengemeinschaft Produktionswagen Teams (the administrator of this exciting series) and the result is today's 40 lap race.
The IPT Association comprises most of the teams contesting the German championship, but unfortunately Mr Scholler suffered a dramatic setback with the Donington promotion when a number of the cars were seriously damaged at the latest round in the German Championship at Norisring on June 22nd.
The leading car in the championship, the Lancia of Hans Heyer was totally destroyed and the Liqui Moly Porsche of Rolf Stommelen was so badly damaged that it is unlikely it will be repaired in time even for the next round of the Championship, at Salzburgring on July 13.
George Loo's turbo Porsche of Bob Wollek was also seriously damaged at Norisring, but the German team were hard at work to repair the damage in time for the car to catch the ferry crossing on Friday morning.
The main interest, however, will no doubt be centred on the fabulous Zakspeed Capris, all four of which are confirmed entries. Many enthusiasts have been longing for the occasion to see these sensational cars on a British circuit, and they should be a fabulous spectacle on the demanding 2 mile Donington circuit.
Donington extend a special welcome to Erich Zakowski and the Zakspeed team and hope that all have a most enjoyable debut at Donington.
As German Group 5 champion, Klaus Ludwig is a German motorsport hero and spearheads the Capri driver line-up. He also won Le Mans last year. He played a vital part in the development of Kremer's marvellous turbo Porsches but switched allegiance this year to the Ford Equipe. A move that was settled in the court rooms With Ludwig paying £10,000 to the Kremer brothers to release him to drive for Zakspeed. These are the kind of high stakes involved in this high finance formula. Ludwig has been one of the stars of the German Group 5 scene for the last six seasons.
The remaining Capri pilots handle the 1.4 ltr turbo Capris in comparison to Ludwig's 1.7 ltr version. Harald Ertl is known to British spectators for his Hesketh Formula 1 drives, but in Germany he's probably best known for winning the German G5 Championship in 1978. This year he's poised to recapture the lead of the series from Hans Heyer, at the moment 17 points behind.
Klaus Niedzwiedz is a close third in the series in the D&W Zakspeed Capri. A well known contender in German Formula Vee and Saloons, 29-year old Niedzwiedz has been given a big break this year with a Zakspeed Capri and is proving his mettle quite convincingly, as anyone who saw him win the first round of the championship at Zolder in March would testify. Niedzwiedz is just six championship points adrift of Ertl.
Hans Soldeck, Niedzwiedz' D&W team-mate, holds sixth place in the championship: after struggling with an Escort last year, Soldeck's debut with a turbo Capri in the final round at the Nurburgring earned him a fourth place.
To alleviate some of the problems caused this year with the proximity of this race to Norisring and next weekend's Salzburg round, and to have the added incentive of championship points at stake, it is planned with the German administrators to make next years German Group 5 race a proper round of the Championship and to find the race a more convenient slot in the "German" calendar.
(N.B. This is a short extract from the text in the race day programme from 1980)