Nurburgring 24: Porsche 911 GT3 R on the way to the top

8 hr review

With a breathtaking charge through the field, the 911 GT3 R campaigned by the Manthey Racing Porsche works team is now within striking distance of the leader at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring. Michael Christensen (Denmark), who shares the #912 vehicle with Richard Lietz (Austria), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France), is now running in fifth place after eight hours of racing on the legendary Nordschleife. Before the race had to be red-flagged for three hours during the afternoon due to a bad storm with heavy rain and hail, the 911 GT3 R was still running in 14th place. But by the time Jörg Bergmeister came in for a pit stop after the re-start he had managed to make up eight places.

“That was a very turbulent start. First the long formation lap, then the spray and lots of aquaplaning,” said Jörg Bergmeister after handing the 911 GT3 R off to Frédéric Makowiecki. “The conditions were incredibly critical, but once the track started to dry the car improved and I was able to make up positions.”

The Porsche factory squad experienced a difficult start to the 44th running of the Eifel classic. In the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R, Britain’s Nick Tandy hit a barrier in the second lap. The vehicle had also been involved in an accident during the Top 30 Qualifying, with the Manthey Racing mechanics putting in a nightshift to repair the car just in time for the warm-up on Saturday morning. For this reason, the defending Le Mans winner took up the race from 29th on the grid and had already overtaken eight rivals when he left the track around the Hohe Acht area. Shortly afterwards a severe storm swept in. Numerous cars skidded from the rain-drenched circuit, with some passages impassable due to hailstones. This race was therefore red-flagged at 16.20 hours and restarted only at 19.20 hours. For Nick Tandy and his teammates Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Patrick Pilet (France) and Kévin Estre (France) there were no second chances.

“We assessed the damage and the repairs would have taken too long,” said the Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser. “But our 911 GT3 R with the number 912 is running like clockwork.”

Live on TVRTL Nitro broadcasts the complete race live. As part of its Formula 1 coverage from Monaco, RTL televises the finish on Sunday from 15.45 hrs.

Standings after 8 hours1. Alzen/Arnold/Götz/Seyffarth (D/D/D/D), Mercedes, 31 laps2. Schneider/Engel/Christodoulou/Metzger (D/D/GB/D), Mercedes, 313. Baumann/Mücke/Buhk/Jäger (D/D/D/D), Mercedes, 315. Lietz/Bergmeister/Christensen/Makowiecki (A/D/DK/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 3112. Dumbreck/Henzler/Ragginger/Imperatori (GB/D/A/CHN), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 3123. Weiss/Kainz/Krumbach/Stursberg (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 30