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Brazilian Racing News: Zonta Wins FIA GT Opener

24 April 1998

Mercedes-Benz had their first one-two-three win in the history of the
FIA GT Championship at the opening round of the 1998 Championship in
Oschersleben, Germany.

Ricardo Zonta from Brazil and german Klaus Ludwig scored the win after
Porsche didn't finished because of mechanical problems on both of its
factory cars.

'I had a difficult race, after being pushed out by Schneider and
returning in sixth position' said Ricardo Zonta. 'But I gave the car
to Klaus when I was leading with 55 secs over the second Mercedes'
completed Zonta.

`I think we have discovered a new star in my co-driver Ricardo Zonta,'
said Ludwig. `He gave a mature performance to allow me to take the
wheel at the first pitstop. From there it was relatively easy.'

Jean-Marc Gounon finished 49.946s behind the winners, in a Team
Persson Motosport CLK-GTR.

Marcel did a great job over the first two hours of the race,'said
Gounon. `I'm very happy to have taken second place for Persson on
their maiden outing in the GT series.'

The 1998 FIA GT Championship circus reconvenes for round two at
Silverstone on May 17th.

1998 FIA GT Championship Oschersleben results

 1 Ricardo Zonta/Klaus Ludwig, Mercedes CLK-GTR, 3:14:21.274
 2 Marcel Tiemann/Jean-Marc Gounon, Mercedes CLK-GTR, 3:15:21.220
 3 Bernd Schneider/Mark Webber, Mercedes CLK-GTR, 2 laps
 4 Alexander Grau/Andreas Scheid, Porsche 911 GT1 98, 3 laps
 5 Eric Bernard/David Brabham, Panoz GTR, 7 laps
 6 Olivier Beretta/Pedro Lamy, Chrysler Viper (GT2), 11 laps
 7 Karl Wendlinger/David Donohue, Chrysler Viper (GT2), 12 laps
 8 Bruno Eichmann/Sascha Maassen, Porsche 911 GT2, 14 laps
 9 Franz Konrad/Nick Ham, Porsche 911 GT2, 15 laps 
10 Tony Seiler/Martin Stretton, Porsche 911 GT2, 15 laps
11 Michael Trunk/Bernhard Mueller, Porsche 911 GT2, 15 laps
12 Cor Euser/Harald Becker, Marcos LM600 (GT2), 15 laps
13 Michel Neugarten/Gerd Ruch/Marco Spinelli, Porsche 911 GT2, 16 laps
14 Ni Amorim/Goncalo Gomez, Porsche 911 GT2, 16 laps
15 Michael Bartels/Armin Hahne, Porsche 911 GT1 98, 17 laps
16 Yannick Dalmas/Allan McNish/Bob Wollek, Porsche 911 GT1 98, 18 laps
17 Andre Arle/Ratanakul Pruirat, Porsche 911 GT2, 18 laps
18 Uwe Sick/Axel Rohr, Porsche 911 GT2, 18 laps 
19 Horst Felbmayer Sr/Horst Felbmayer Jr Porsche 911 GT2, 19 laps
20 Gerold Reid/Patrick Vuillaume, Porsche 911 GT2, 22 laps