Klaus Niedzwiedz is a former professional racing driver and motoring journalist who had his greatest success in the 1980s driving the Zakspeed Ford Capri. Niedzwiedz holds the eternal lap record for Group 5 touring cars on the old NÃ¼rburgring with a time of 7:06 min, just 2 seconds slower than the F1 record held by Clay Regazzoni!
Klaus Niedzwiedz was born in Dortmund, Germany and is a former professional racing driver and motoring journalist.
Niedzwiedz rose to promincence when driving a Ford Capri for Zakspeed in the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft. The turbocharged 1.4 L engine from the Zakspeed Ford Capri was later enlarged for the 1.7L "Super Capri". With this 500+hp car, Niedzwiedz holds the "eternal lap record" for Group 5 touring car racing at the old 22.8km Nürburgring with 7:06 min, just 2 seconds slower than the F1 record by Clay Regazzoni.
The enlarged engine was also used in the World Endurance Championship from 1982 onwards, in the a modified Ford C100. The Zakspeed-prepared Group C machine was run by the works Ford Germany team, but the car was a midfielder at best. Ford Germany retracted their support and one car was sold to privateers, while the other chassis was evolved by Zakspeed into the C1/4 and the C1/8, making few appearances in international racing, but becoming a front-runner in the German Interserie, where it won the European championship in 1984 with Klaus Niedzwiedz.
He raced at Le Mans twice, failing to finish on both occasions. He drove a Porsche 908/80 in 1981 with Reinhold Joest and Dale Whittington and the Ford C100 with Manfred Winkelhock in 1982.
In 1982 and 1987, he was the winner at the 24 Hours Nürburgring, in both events with Klaus Ludwig. With a Ford Sierra he was runner-up in the World Touring Car Championship of 1987 and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft of 1989.
In 1998, he won the privateer title in the ADAC German Supertouring car championship (STW Super Tourenwagen Cup) with a Opel Vectra.
In 2003, he won a VLN race with Porsche 911 GT3 at the Nürburgring.