David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Homestead, FL (October 18, 1998) - Klaus Ludwig and Ricardo Zonta won today's FIA Grand Touring Championship race on the 2.21 mile road course at Homestead Motorsports Complex. Ludwig and Zonta cruised to a trouble free victory in the No. 2 AMG Mercedes, finishing 1:03.235 minutes ahead of the the second place Porsche of Uwe Alzen and Jorg Muller.
"It was pretty tough because I stayed in the car for one hour and thirty minutes, and that was a bit too long for an old man," said Ludwig with a grin, "but in the end it turned out right."
It's been right for AMG Mercedes all season. Ludwig and Zonta knotched their fourth win of the season today, leaving them with a four point lead in the championship over the drivers of the No. 1 car, Bernd Schneider and Mark Webber.
The final round of the FIA GT Championship will be held October 25 at Laguna Seca. If Schneider and Webber win the last race with Lugwig and Zonta second, both AMG Mercedes teams would end the season tied in the points battle. The championship would fall to Schneider and Webber, based on their number of wins.
"I've got to win," Ludwig said. The 49-year old driver has announced his retirement after next week's race. There would be nothing sweeter than to end a career of nearly thirty years with one more championship."
Mercedes Benz motorsports boss Norbert Haug looks forward to the final races in both the FIA GT Championship and the F-1 Championship. "The FIA GT driver's championship will be decided in the final race, exactly as in Formula One," he said, refering to the battle between Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher. "Both of our teams must race for victory to be able to get the title. It will be a great final for a great season."
With Mercedes capturing the Manufacturer's Championship two rounds ago at Donington, the driver's championship between the two AMG Mercedes cars will be no holds barred. Ludwig put it succinctly, "No team orders, no nothing."