MANN-FILTER and ZAKSPEED launch partnership

Cooperation starting with VLN runs and 24-hour racesDriver pairing of Heyer, Asch and Ludwig confirmed

A perfect partnership: the cooperation between MANN-FILTER and Team ZAKSPEED was officially sealed at an exclusive launch event in Ludwigsburg last Friday. In addition to the new driver pairing, the team presented the new Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the VLN endurance championship and the Nürburgring 24-hour race.

MANN-FILTER will be joining Peter Zakowski's team and taking part in several VLN runs as well as the 24-hour race on the legendary Nordschleife as a partner and main sponsor.

The new Mercedes-AMG GT3, successor to the highly successful SLS AMG GT3, is its equal in looks and top-class technology. The yellow and green design evokes the early days of Team ZAKSPEED with the Ford Escort. The driver pairing provides a further historical link. Kenneth Heyer, Sebastian Asch and Luca Ludwig are the sons of the touring car legends Hans Heyer, Roland Asch and Klaus Ludwig, who drove for ZAKSPEED in the past and enjoyed many successes.

"We are looking forward to making our debut in endurance motor racing together with MANN-FILTER", says Peter Zakowski, Team Owner Team ZAKSPEED. "The Nordschleife in particular is uncompromising in terms of the technology and discipline is demands of each team, each driver and each car, so it's worth a lot to have a valued partner on our side. The first roll-out of the new yellow and green racing cars will take place on the VLN test day on March 19 at the Nürburgring."

"A racing team like Team ZAKSPEED with such a long tradition in Motorsports and the successes that come with it is a fantastic opportunity for us", asserts Jörg Engels, Director of Brand Management for the Automotive Aftermarket at MANN+HUMMEL. "We want to use this involvement in Motorsports to increase the popularity of our brand. It goes without saying that an eye-catching team presence, which we already have thanks to our colours yellow and green, as well as the accompanying marketing measures on a number of communication channels, from social media through print to trade fair appearances and autograph sessions will be important here. With the new MANN-FILTER Team ZAKSPEED, we are now also offering customers and fans with a passion for Motorsport a great opportunity to be able to experience races at the Nürburgring live.”This season, the partnership between MANN-FILTER and Team ZAKSPEED will be focusing on the 24-hour race and the VLN endurance championship at the Nürburgring.

Driver Quotes:

Kenneth Heyer:"I've been working with the MANN-FILTER brand for years. The partnership with Team ZAKSPEED is a great solution for us. I have a close and long-standing friendship with the founder Erich Zakowski as well as with his son Peter, who is running the team today. Racing for the team, in which my father's favourite to drive for and that I have such a great affinity for is something very special. We are at the beginning of a long partnership with MANN-FILTER Team ZAKSPEED and I'd like to celebrate the first year with the best possible result in the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The partnership is as new as the car, so everything has some growing to do, but I've held every position in the Top-10 apart from overall winner in the classic category. That's my personal goal for my career, and I'm going to do everything I can to achieve it.”

Sebastian Asch:"Needless to say, ZAKSPEED has a tradition of unbeatable line-ups. I clinched the title in the ADAC GT Masters for the second time last year together with Team ZAKSPEED and Luca Ludwig. I already know Kenneth from the Seat Leon Supercopa Cup and the early days of the GT Masters, so he's no stranger to me. I'm happy to be driving alongside him now. Of course, we want to build on our strengths from last year and bring the 24-hour race to a successful conclusion. An early retirement from the 24-hour race last year meant we weren't able to show what we are capable of doing."

Luca Ludwig:"I'm familiar with the enormous potential of the Mercedes-AMG GT3 from the test drives in 2015, but ultimately its ability to compete will be decided by the BoP (balance of performance). I'm hoping for a fair and exciting competition this year. Sebastian Asch is my ideal driver partner, we get along extremely well. That's important for success on the race track. I've known Kenneth for many years. The fact that we're now all driving at ZAKSPEED, something our fathers also did from the early days of ZAKSPEED in the 70s all the way through to the 90s, shows the huge tradition of the racing stable. We all want to keep building on our fathers' successes."