Manthey-Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R

Manthey-Racing finishes 2nd and 5th in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring

The 47th staging of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring saw Manthey-Racing cross the finish line in second place after a thrilling finish on Sunday. The Porsche 911 GT3 R, driven by Earl Bamber (NZ), Michael Christensen (DK), Kévin Estre (F) and Laurens Vanthoor (B), was on course for victory until two and a half hours before the end of the race, but then lost the lead when they were handed a time penalty for speeding under yellow flags. The red and white Porsche with the quartet of drivers led by Otto Klohs took victory in the Pro-Am class and finished fifth overall. The number 1 car failed to finish the race.
The eventful race started in sunny and dry conditions at 15:30 on Saturday. Estre started from third place, and he and his team-mates soon established themselves in the leading group. After a good five hours, Estre took the lead with a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre on the grass verge next to the track. Manthey-Racing held on to the lead until two and a half hours before the end. The 911 was given a time penalty of 5:32 minutes for speeding during a yellow phase and unfortunately rejoined the race in second place. Vanthoor and Estre launched an impressive fightback in the final two stints, consistently reducing the Audi’s lead at the front of the field. In the end, the green and yellow Porsche with the nickname “Grello” crossed the finish line in second place after 156 laps of racing.
The #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R, with Otto Klohs (D), Matteo Cairoli (I), Lars Kern (D) and Dennis Olsen (N) at the wheel, emerged triumphant in the Pro-Am class at the end of the endurance classic. The quartet started from twelfth place, but made consistent progress throughout the race and eventually came home fifth overall.
The drivers who won the 24-hour race in 2018 started from seventh place in the #1 Porsche 911 GT3 R. However, the title defence came to a premature end on lap 61. Richard Lietz (A), Frédéric Makowiecki (F), Patrick Pilet (F) and Nick Tandy (GB) had climbed into a promising third place at the start of the race, but fell back to 37th following an early puncture. The ensuing fightback was brought to an abrupt halt by a crash in the night. Richard Lietz was unhurt in the incident, but the severity of the damage to the car meant it was unable to continue.
The #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R led the race for the most kilometres and set the fastest lap of the race, with Frenchman Kévin Estre (#911) clocking a time of 8:17.745 minutes.
With six overall victories to its name, including four wins in a row (2006 to 2009), Manthey-Racing remains the most successful team at the 24-hour classic, which has been held in the Eifel region of Germany since 1970.
Quotes from the ADAC TOTAL 24h Race:
Nicolas Raeder (Managing Director of Manthey-Racing GmbH): “The performance was very impressive throughout the entire race. We were the fastest in the field and were on course to take victory for a long time. For the moment, I am obviously disappointed, as there was more in it for us. However, in the past two years we have finished first and second each of the two biggest endurance races – Le Mans and the Nürburgring. That is an impressive team effort and something we can be very proud of. Our #12 car with Otto Klohs deserves particular mention. They finished fifth overall and won the Pro-Am class in the process.”
Laurens Vanthoor (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, 2nd place): “It was a perfect race with just one mistake. I didn’t see a flag, and that cost us the victory. On the whole, however, it was a flawless and perfect performance from the whole team.”
Otto Klohs (Porsche 911 GT3 R #12, 5th place): “As always, it was a very exciting and good 24-hour race for us. The key to our success was a perfectly organised team and a consistent driving style. Our goal was to finish in the top ten, so we are really happy with fifth place overall and victory in the Pro-Am class.”
Richard Lietz (Porsche 911 GT3 R #1, DNF): “It was not an easy race for us, right from the start. After the early puncture, we obviously wanted to reduce the gap to the leaders. Then I was tapped on the rear left of the car during an overtaking manoeuvre, which caused me to collide with the barrier and ultimately forced our retirement. It is obviously a great shame, as we could definitely still have achieved something in such an eventful race.”
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