I was quite literally born with an enthusiasm for motorsport: Some of my earliest childhood memories are rich with the smell of petrol, the throng of the pit lane and the roar of engines – I practically grew up on the race track. I suppose that is to be expected when your father is Klaus Ludwig – the most successful German touring car driver of all time.
A latecomer in motorsport
As my father was driving up to 2007, I can remember his career well. He is still very active on the racing scene even now – I regularly accompany him to events and learn a lot. That I had not just inherited my father’s enthusiasm for motorsport, but also some of his talent, was something I discovered relatively late on. Even though I had always been captivated by what was going on out on the track, for a long time I had no ambitions of becoming a racing driver myself.
So it wasn’t until 2008 that I sat inside a racecar for the first time at the age of 20. The race was held – where else – on the Nordschleife. From that moment I was hooked! Since 2009, I have taken part in a wide variety of races on a regular basis, including the ADAC Zurich 24-hour race and the ADAC GT Masters. It was not long before the ambition stirred within me. I wanted to drive more, to try more – and, of course, to win!
Great success and grand designs
Despite my comparatively late start in the world of motorsport, success came quickly. I worked had, made up for lost time and learnt a great deal. A big dream of mine became reality in 2015, when I claimed victory in the GT Masters.
Success like this doesn’t just happen automatically. Over the past few years, I have learnt that motorsport means much more than just putting the pedal to the metal. Competitions like these demand total concentration, consistently high performances, lightning-fast decision-making and clever tactics. It is 100% a team effort, in which everything must come together seamlessly – right down to the smallest detail. There are so many factors which play a role and can influence the result. On the Nordschleife, which is already more challenging than many other courses, the pressure I put on myself is twice as high – after all, it is basically my home track. It is where I grew up, so of course I have my own expectations to live up to as well.
At home on the racetrack
You have to really want this enormous pressure, the responsibility that rests on a driver’s shoulders and the never-ending stress of being constantly on the go. This is only possible if you are 100% focused on your goals. Making sure you stay on the right track and not allowing yourself to be distracted are lessons that apply every bit as much on the race course as they do in life in general.
Where will I go from here? That remains to be seen. 🙂 What I can absolutely guarantee, though, is that I’m not at the end of my journey just yet and one of my goals is to win a 24-hour race. GT sport is forward-looking, exciting and diverse – it is motorsport at its finest. There is always something more to achieve and something new to learn. Not to mention that each and every race feels like an incredible new experience. I have made lasting friendships with many other drivers, and thanks to all of my memories and the familiar faces, I truly do feel at home out on the track.
For proof that all our paths are bound to cross, look no further than this year’s team line-up: the names Zakowski, Heyer, Asch and Ludwig will be familiar to many from days gone by. Being able to reassemble this team is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am raring to get to the start line alongside Kenneth, Basti and the MANN-FILTER ZAKSPEED team. We have already claimed some fantastic results so far in 2016, which is only motivating us even more for the rest of the season! 🙂