King Klaus bids farewell…again

Klaus Ludwig, the 1992 and '94 DTM champion, has retired from racing for a second time

King Klaus bids farewell…again

The 51-year-old from Bonn announced the news at the Essen Motorshow on Tuesday, having previously 'retired' in 1998 after winning the FIA GT Championship for Mercedes with Ricardo Zonta. He returned to full-time competition this year, however, when the DTM was recreated.

Ludwig, who won the Le Mans 24 Hours three times in 1979, '84 and '85, scored two wins in the DTM this year at Sachsenring in his AMG Mercedes and finished third in the championship.

"The decision was actually taken last year," he said. "When the DTM started again I said 'OK, I'll come back and race again but just for a season'. To win two races and finish third this year, considering my age, was brilliant. It's time to do other things. I wanted to say this at Hockenheim [the final round] but I didn't want to detract from the championship, so I decided to wait a little before I announced anything."

Ludwig hopes to join the DTM TV commentary team next season to remain involved in the series which served to enhance his legendary reputation in international racing.

His exit from the Mercedes squad leaves an opening in the top AMG squad for 2001. The Three Pointed Star has yet to make any decisions about its line-up, but has tested BTCC star Rickard Rydell and ex-Formula Nippon champion Tom Coronel.

For full Klaus Ludwig Q&A, click HERE.

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