Tag Archives: Ludwig

Four Cylinders Between Friends – Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR

Look closely at the photo below and one can clearly see today’s featured car is labeled by Mercedes Benz as a 1998 type CLK-LM, however the Goodwood Programmes for the 2012 and 2014 events when these photo’s were taken clearly describe the car as a 1997 CLK GTR, aside from some minor body work differences the older GTR is powered by a 6 litre / 366 cui M120 60º V12 while the LM is powered by a 5 litre / 305 cui M119 90º V8 variant built especially for reliability in the Le Mans 24 hour race.

Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

It turns out that as the body work suggests this is a 1997 CLK-GTR but painted up with the 1998 colours worn by the CLK-GTR Bernd Schneider and Mark Webber drove to victory in the 1998 FIA GT Championship at Silverstone which was the last works outing for the V12 CLK GTR’s before the AMG Mercedes team switched to the V8 CLK-LM’s.

Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Klaus Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

The CLK-GTR was developed for the 1997 FIA GT championship season with the aid of an ex Labre Competition McLaren F1 GTR that was fitted with the M120 V12 and CLK-GTR bodywork that Mercedes intended to use on the chassis of their own design.

Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Klaus Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Despite qualifying on pole twice in their opening 3 races a CLK-GTR did not appear in victory lane until Bernd Schneider and Klaus Ludwig, seen driving the car in these photographs, won forth time out at the Nurburgring from the teams third pole position, five further wins followed during the season with Bernd and Klaus sharing victories at Zeltweg where Bernd Mayländer temporarily joined the duo, Sebring and Laguna Seca.

Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Klaus Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Bernd Schneider also recorded two more victories, with Alessandro Nannini and Marcel Tiemann at Suzuka and Alexander Wurz at Donington which was enough to secure the 1997 FIA GT Championships for Mercedes Benz and Bernd Schneider.

Mercedes Benz CLK-GTR, Klaus Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed,

Prior to the CLK GTR’s final Bitish Empire Trophy win at Silverstone Klaus Ludwig and Brazilian Ricardo Zonta drove a GTR to victory in the Oschersleben 500 to ease the way for Mercedes Benz to complete a second FIA GT1 championship with the M119 V8 powered CLK-LM in 1998 which won all eight remaining rounds of the FIA GT Championship with six 1-2 finishes and with which Klaus and Ricardo became joint FIA GT Drivers champions.

Despite the V8 being chosen for it’s supposed durability at Le Mans in 1998 both of the CLK-LM’s retired with engine failure after less than 1/10 of the winning distance completed.

The CLK GTR’s competition career continued through the rest of 1998 with Team Persson Motorsport who’s best result was a 2nd place with Marcel Tiemann and Jean-Marc Gounon sharing a car at Ochlersleben.

Thanks for joining me on this “Four Cylinders Between Friends” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psychoontyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for the last in the current series of Mazda Monday’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


120 Years Of Competition – Mercedes Benz

2014 marks the 120 years of competition for Mercedes Benz, going back to the 1894 Paris – Rouen race and examples of the marque on display at Goodwood included Ben Collins 111 year old Mercedes Simplex 60hp.

Mercedes 18/100, Mass, Croft, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Going back just 100 years, like the lucky birthday boy passenger Basil Croft, was the Mercedes 18/100 of the type which Christian Lautenschlager drove to win the 1914 French Grand Prix. 1975 Spanish Grand Prix winner and 1989 Le Mans winner Jochen Mass is seen at the wheel here.

Mercedes Benz W165, Stewart, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Paul Stewart is seen at the wheel of the slightly smokey 1939 Mercedes Benz W165 of the type which irked the Italians by winning the 1939 Tripoli Grand Prix with Hermann Lang at the wheel.

Mercedes Benz High Speed Transporter, 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupé, Goodwood Festival of Speed

For their return to Grand Prix racing in 1954 the Mercedes Benz Rennabteilung built a special high speed transporter, capable of 104 mph, using Mercedes 300SL running gear. Sitting on the back of the replica Rennwagen Schnelltransporter is one of two Mercedes Benz 300SLR Uhlenhaut Coupés built on the chassis of the 300SLR roadster of the type Stirling Moss and Dennis Jenkinson drove to victory in the 1955 Mille Miglia with a 300SL Gullwing Body.

Mercedes Benz 300SLS, Franchitti, Goodwood Festival of Speed

It was great to see 3 time Indy winner Dario Franchitti back behind the wheel of a racing car, he was so pleased he even took a selfie of himself behind the wheel while the car was moving ! The car Dario is seen driving here is a replica 300SLS of the type Paul O’Shea drove to many victories for GALPOT contributor Geoffrey Horton’s uncle George Tilp in the USA.

Mercedes Benz 500SL Rallye, Asch, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Moving forward two decades to 1980 and Mercedes Benz were competing in the World Rally Championship with the 500SLC Rallye model, the season highlight was a 1-2 victory in the Ivory Coast Rally shared by Björn Waldegård and Hans Thorszelius in the winning car. Roland Asch is about to find out that the hey bails make a poor substitute for the vehicles brakes.

Mercedes Benz CLK GTR, Ludwig, Goodwood Festival of Speed

Finally two time Le Mans winner Klaus Ludwig pilots a 1998 V12 Mercedes Benz CLK GTR back to the pits of the type that won the 1997 FIA GT Drivers and Manufacturers Championships with Bernd Schneider at the wheel.

Thanks for joining me on this “120 Years Of Competition” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Maserati Monday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !