Friday, April 07, 2017

Q & A with Claus Zimmermann

Claus Zimmermann 38 years old from Ulm in Germany. Claus is the younger brother of the Joker Modified driver Thomas Zimmermann and the son of Manfred Zimmermann (former Mechanic of the Kiemele Pulling Team). He´s also a former ETPC Tech & Saefty Board member and the current vice president of the ETPC. What are you doing in your normal life?
Claus Zimmermann: I am an R&D engineer in the automotive world. Ok currently not, but hopefully again soon. What do you like to do in your free time, except Tractor Pulling?
Claus Zimmermann: Fixing and polishing classic cars, meet friends, spend time with my nieces. What do you like on Tractor Pulling?
Claus Zimmermann: On one hand, the power and displacements of the engines, and the tricky goal to bring the horsepower to the ground best possible. This means horsepower help, but they are not everything. And on the other hand, the connection of so many nations working at the same thing. I am happy to have friends mainly in Europe, but also all over the world, and look forward to every possibility to meet and have a nice speech with them. What was your first Tractor Pulling event?
Claus Zimmermann: I think Seifertshofen (D) 1985 with my Dad around the Museums Gigant and me sitting with Mum somewhere in the crowd. What is your favourite Event / Pulling track?
Claus Zimmermann: I had good times at several tracks in Europe. But special to mention Bernay (F) the EC in 1992 and the Euro Cups afterwards, what a great crowd, having lots of voice and emotions! Other pulls I really enjoyed were the ones in Trogstad/Norway, and also many nice people in Italy. When and where do you have driven a Pulling Tractor for the first time?
Claus Zimmermann: The first time pulling myself was with the Minipuller “Junior” of my Dad, Füchtorf (D) 2000. And directly got my name in Pulling. Entered the pull off, and lost a rear wheel there. What was your biggest success?  
Claus Zimmermann: Could you give me a better definition of “success”? As an active puller, I am the Swiss champion of 2001 with our Mini “Joker”, and I am proud of the place on the podium in Trogstad (N) 2003 with Modified “Joker” fighting against lots of well-known strong European starters. Besides that for sure all the titles Thomas won with the “Joker”, national and international, being next to the big part of my Dad at least also a small part in the workshop, behind the steering wheel of the truck and at the pulls.
But I also see the election into the ETPC as success. Doesn’t matter in which function, as nations delegate, T&S official or now in the Daily Board. It shows me people trust in me, and I try to do my best, and not to disappoint them. Which Pulling classes do you like too? 
Claus Zimmermann: Well, grown up with Kiemele around, and very soon also the V8 in house… Modifieds are in the blood, especially the 950s. Doesn’t matter at which event I am, I try to see at least them. I also like the Superstocks, I feel the engine displacement and enjoy the sound. But not to forget the Gardenpullers. Always funny to grap a steeringwheel and have fun on the track or to help out with waving the flags, and I enjoy the friendship atmosphere around, there the big guys could sometimes learn from the small ones. What was your biggest disappointment?
Claus Zimmermann: Well, there are some, most of them addicted to officials work. But as I don’t want to blame anybody, let's drop the question, thank you Which things must be change in the future of the Tractor Pulling sport?
Claus Zimmermann: It is good to do the sport in a more professional way, and I wish the Teams to find sponsors and keep it payable, but we shouldn’t loose the friendships and the varieties, which make our sport so special and unique! What's your plans for the future in Tractor Pulling?
Claus Zimmermann: Depends on the life next to pulling, you never know what will happen. I hope I will stay some more years in ETPC, spending some time and effort in helping the sport to develop and grow. What was for you the most important moment in the sport?
Claus Zimmermann: One great moment for me was a situation in Bernay (F), after traveling 900kms we sorted out there is a defect at the tractor and we could not compete. But Team Mini Breaker rent the parts to us and we fighted it out directly on the track against them. Also Team Simply Irresistible, when we won the Euro Cup in Windenhof (F) jumping from place 4 to the top. They celebrated with us, although they lost the title because of us. So thanks to all the Teams around made every pull so special when we drove Euro Cup, always great times no matter where in Europe. What was your favourite Pulling Tractor project in the workshop during a winter?  
Claus Zimmermann: Puh, lots of modifications and new ideas in winter time. But I think the favourite one is the new built Mod 950 Joker with the 15“ rearaxle in 1999. Before everybody telling us this will never be possible, and we are joking and plan to build a big tractor. Afterwards lots of copies of our best running Mini, enabling so many hps on the wheels, lots of victories in a row, and even today the chassis becomes German Champion every year. Another big project for sure was the Modified with 5 Arias V8s on it. Also love the Joker like it looks now! Before it was always a hurry in time to get it ready for the season, but for the last design and setup the look was first prio and not the timetable Something you want to say? 
Claus Zimmermann: I already look forward to a interesting season 2017, happy to see all the crazy people again infected as much from Pulling as I am. I wish all teams a fair challenge on good tracks, no breaks, and save travels to sunny events. CU wherever, whenever! Thank you for your time and good luck!   

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