Even the best screw it up occasionally, and in the least deserving of circumstances. If Klaus Ludwig hasn’t made it onto your radar, he is a three-times LeMans winner and twice DTM World Champion. After retiring and returning to motorsport at the age of 50, Ludwig still took home a victory in front of the young talent at the Saschenring. With certain drivers, talent never takes a holiday, and this man certainly deserved the nicknamed “Konig,” which translates to King.
Even at the age of 62, Ludwig hustles the MP4-12C GT3 at the 2012 Nurburgring 24 Hours, putting power to the pavement effortlessly with the touch of an old master. Never biting off more than he can chew, Ludwig applies all of the 3.8-liter, twin-turbo V8’s grunt to the road, carrying immense speed everywhere with very delicate touches of the throttle through the Flugplatz section. As he approaches the descent down the hill towards Schwedenkreuz, a Seat Cupra appears.
As Flugplatz rewards the high grip from the McLaren’s wings with better cornering speed, it’s no surprise that the superstar is on the little Cupra’s bumper in no time. In an almost gentlemanly way, the driver of the Cupra opens the door for Ludwig, or seems to.
When room is left near the apex of a corner, it’s an invitation for the faster car, and seeing as this was a race, it seems like genuine courtesy for the faster traffic. However, once the seasoned Ludwig sticks his nose alongside, the Cupra does not continue to give space, despite there being enough room for both machines to squeeze through. The rear right corner of the McLaren comes in contact with the Seat, sending Ludwig into a tremendous spin which he tries to correct briefly before quickly acknowledging his fate.
Ludwig and his MP4-12C GT3 are sent into a series of violent collisions with the barrier, which do a good job. The McLaren holds up against the impact and does not appear to injure Ludwig, but the energy of the crash seals Ludwig’s driver-side door shut, so that he has to emerge from the passenger side. Thankfully, he doesn’t injure his hands as the wheel kicks back after striking the barrier — one might assume that a driver of his experience would know to remove his hands from the wheel in an accident like that, but perhaps he was simply dumbfounded by the poor driving on the part of the Cupra. I certainly was.