Lutz wins German Championship, in SA Chassis. The 1997 German Formula Vee Champion, Joachim Lutz, has claimed his second title, this time behind the wheel of a South African designed and built Mega ZA. The chassis, built by Dean Nel in...
Lutz wins German Championship, in SA Chassis.
The 1997 German Formula Vee Champion, Joachim Lutz, has claimed his second title, this time behind the wheel of a South African designed and built Mega ZA. The chassis, built by Dean Nel in Pretoria, has been adapted to German Formula Vee specifications and was acquired by Lutz in 2001. With the car now fully sorted, Lutz has swept all before him and convincingly won the 2003 German Formula Vee Championship.
Here is Lutz's own story:
It was a long hard road, back to the top - but now it feels sooooooo good! Winning a championship in my (our, sorry Anthony) own "baby" is much better than in a car that someone else made and which has won championships before.
It was four years ago, that Anthony Taylor came to see me at Hockenheim and after a few beers - or was it that strange red wine stuff? - We discussed a crazy new challenge: "What about bringing a South African car to Germany, to win my second Championship, after 1997?!?" A big challenge but - OK, let's do it!! A lot of people were shaking their heads but a few months later, my good old MEGA was written off in a very bad accident - so there was no way back.
During the months that followed, a lot of measurements, drawings, photos, rulebooks, e-mails and faxes were sent back and forth, between South Africa and Germany. Many little things, much more than what is apparent from the outside, had to be changed, to make it comply with the German rules and adapt it to the different engine and gearbox, as well as the slicks and wings but Anthony and Dean, did a great job!
In November 2000, I was in South Africa for the South African Formula Vee 40th Anniversary and had my first seat fitting, in the new car. I drove Symm Grobler's beautiful red "sister car" and we won the Kyalami 2 Hour Race together. On my way home, I knew we had started something good. Then early in 2001, the big box from South Africa arrived and Markus Gasser set about assembling the car, with all the German components.
On it's debut, I finished 3rd, very promising but what followed, were two disastrous years. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. One DNF followed another. It was so frustrating. We always felt that the concept of the car was good. It was all those little things that went wrong, when people say: "That can happen in motor racing" BUT WHY ALWAYS TO ME??? and if the car didn't break down, then someone crashed into me. I became the first and only driver, to win the German "Bad Luck Trophy" two years in a row and in addition to that, I could not give Symm a decent, competitive car, when he came over to Hockenheim for the German Formula Vee 40th Anniversary, in 2001. I did not finish a single lap at that special event, which was very sad.
Then in August 2002, at Zandvoort, something strange happened: There was a man with a chequered flag on the track! It seemed like I hadn't seen him for ages. 2nd place! Wow! It looks like I can still do it! That was the start of a fantastic run, of four 1sts, five 2nds and one 3rd place finish! Funny how quickly luck can change - and now, we are the 2003 German Formula Vee Champions: Joachim Lutz and the Mega ZA1.
In 2004, there will be three ZA's on the grid, for the German Championship and I'm sure that there are going to be many more good results, for Anthony to be proud of.