ZimSport is a motorsport team that was created by John Zimmer in 1985. It was originally just a small private team running a single Reynard for the 16 year old Zimmer in the Australian Formula Ford Championship, but has since expanded to one of the biggest junior category teams in the world, running cars in the F3RWRS, GP3 Series, British F3, British Formula Ford, Australian F3, V8 Supercar Development Series and Australian Formula Ford, as well as a short time in the F1RWRS.
Original Era (1985-1990)
Zimmer created the team in 1985, when he purchased a Reynard FF83 chassis to compete in the Formula Ford Driver to Europe Series. He ran the car out of the shed at his parent's home in Orange, NSW, and finished the year 17th in the championship. For 1986, he bought a brand new Van Diemen chassis, and finished 10th. He ran it again in 1987, and his 5th place gave him enough money to buy another newest-spec Van Diemen. This was his year, and he won the championship in it, gaining enough money and finding enough sponsorship to move to the UK. He competed in that year's Formula Ford Festival, finishing 6th. Still competing as ZimSport, he raced in the British Formula Ford Championship in 1989, finishing 8th, and 4th at the Festival. He then decided to take a big risk and bought an old Reynard F3 chassis to compete in the British Formula Three championship. While his 1990 season wasn't spectacular, he did grab the attention of Alan Docking Racing, who gave him a drive in 1991. This was a temprorary end to ZimSport, as he didn't continue it in Australia after he left.
Return of ZimSport (1994-1997)
In early 1994, Zimmer returned to Australia to take part in a track day at Wakefield Park near Goulburn. There, he saw Rhys Davies, and decided to restart his old team to give him a chance to progress in his career. Davies finished second in the 1994 Formula Ford championship, and Zimmer flew his old Reynard to Australia for him to compete in Australia F3. He also decided to give other young drivers a ride in Formula Ford, and by 1997 had expanded to a three-car Formula Ford team and a two-car F3 team.
Partnership with Holden and Spectrum (1998-2010)
ZimSport, by now a proudly Australian team, returned to British Formula Ford with a two car effort. This had been achieved by a new partnership with Australian racing car constructor Spectrum, who wanted to expand their customer base, which was previously limited to Australia. ZimSport and Spectrum effectively became a cheap way for Australian drivers to drive in Europe, as they constantly gave drivers from Australian championships a ride. By 2002, they had become a rather well known team in Australia, and expanded their operations to buy an old Holden VX Commodore, to compete in the Konica V8 Supercar Series, to help those of their young drivers who didn't wish to drive in Europe. However, they didn't achieve many results, as the team wasn't used to tin tops, so they entered into a partnership in 2004 with Konica team MW Motorsport and main game team Garry Rogers Motorsport. This was in addition to their partnership with GRM in Formula Ford, which had given John's younger brother Frank a run in 2003. Their V8 partnerships is what gave Frank his chance in V8s, and he won the 2005 V8 Supercar Championship with GRM. By 2009, they had also developed a big partnership with Holden, allowing ZimSport to run two cars in the Development Series (now known as the Fujitsu Series). One car was backed by GRM's sponsors, and one by HRT's. 2010 saw them further expand, as they set up a division to compete in the GP3 Series in Europe, again as a way of giving Australian drivers a chance.
In 2011, with works backing from Holden and Spectrum, ZimSport built a chassis to compete in the F1RWRS. They received sponsorship from video game developer Fwifwi Games, run by friends of Zimmer, and raced as Fwifwi-Holden. John Zimmer would drive for the team, and in 5 races he scored 6 points. However, it was then that Rosenforth Engineering went bust, and Zimmer bought the team to save his brother's contract from being sold off. He then merged his Rosenforth and ZimSport F1RWRS operations, forming the Holden F1RWRS Racing Team when Mark Skaife came on board. HRT used the old Rosenforth chassis, which was developed by ZimSport, with the Holden engine that Zimmer had used before. In 2012, ZimSport built the HRT chassis, as Holden hadn't yet gotten the resources to make their own. By 2013, they had, and ZimSport remained only to help the running of the team.
However, they continued to compete in the series - half way through the season, Frank was sacked by Horizon. ZimSport had been planning on entering the 2014 season with help from Australian V8 Supercar team boss Garry Rogers. They started to prepare early and had already built one car. However, when Frank was sacked John and Garry decided to enter the 2013 season halfway through, and hurriedly completed a second car. Frank was sacked after the French GP, but the team did not enter until Germany, two races later, as they completed the second car. The team hired Nathan Scott to drive the second car alongside Frank, and they immediately hit success, with Zimmer finishing second, enough to get them out of pre-qualifying straight away.
In 2014, with the announcement of the new F3RWRS support category, Zimmer decided to enter his team to give some drivers a boost into the F1RWRS. The team already owned two Dallara F314 cars for British F3, and slightly modified them for F3RWRS competition. They announced that their British F3 drivers, Ryan Zimmer and Carter Simpson, would drive the cars. Both were related to F1RWRS drivers - Zimmer is John's son and Frank Zimmer's nephew, while Simpson is the cousin of Rhys Davies. On the entry list, the team is called ZimSport-Rosenforth, as John was starting to refer to the team who he took over in 2011. Shortly after he announced his entry, he received funding from Holden to run a third car for Jason Hamilton, as a way of keeping him racing until he was moved up into the F2RWRS.
Complete F1RWRS Results
|2011||ZimSport FHR1||HSV LS3||BAV||GER||SAX||LUX||BEL||GBR||ENG||KEN||NED||TAS||AUS||NSW||SUR||CHN||USA||6||19th|
|2013||ZimSport GRM1||HSV L12-1||TAS||AUS||MEX||USA||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||NED||BEL||POR||MED||MAC||CHN||JPN||BRA||21||8th|
|2014||ZimSport GRM2||HSV L12-2||TAS||AUS||BRA||MEX||USA||MON||FRA||GBR||GER||BEL||ITA||MED||SEA||MAC||CHN||JPN||8||10th|
Complete F3RWRS Results
|2014||Dallara F314||Holden LSF3-14||AUS||USA||GBR||GER||BEL||CHN||SUR||111||2nd|
|2015||Dallara F3R15||Holden LSF3-15||AUS||TUR||MON||USA||GBR||GER||SPA||ITA||JPN||SUR||116.5||2nd|
|2016||ZimSport JZ1/3||Holden LSF3-16||AUS||GBR||ITA||PAU||CAN||GER||ZAN||BEL||SMR||JPN||SUR||33*||12th*|
Young Driver Program
ZimSport operates a young driver program around the world, with the aim of helping young drivers into Formula One or the F1RWRS. Originally, only drivers from Oceania were selected to help them make the difficult jump into Europe. However, since Zimmer joined forces with Rosenforth, many more drivers have been selected.
|John Cunningham||2014||Lupo GTI|
|Chloe O'Sullivan||2015||Lupo GTI|