Porsche customer team Manthey EMA second after shorter Nürburgring 24hr

Porsche customer team Manthey EMA second after shorter Nürburgring 24hr

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Manthey EMA (#911), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Thomas Preining (A), Kevin Estre (F), Ayhancan Güven (TR)
Fog causes 14 hours of downtime and an early end after 50 laps
Manthey EMA claims a podium step as the best Porsche customer team
Lionspeed GP wins the ProAm classification of the SP9 class

Porsche extends its lead in the manufacturers’ classification of the Intercontinental GT Challenge

Due to dense fog, the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring had to be interrupted for a long time and ended earlier than originally planned. At the time of the race cancellation, Manthey EMA was in second place with its works drivers Kévin Estre, Thomas Preining and Laurens Vanthoor as well as the former Porsche Junior Ayhancan Güven. This result handed the Porsche customer squad victory in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. With the two Falken Motorsports cars as well as the Lionspeed GP’s Porsche, three other 911 GT3 R finished in the top 10.

Stuttgart. After just over seven hours of racing, the race director called a stop to the long-distance classic at 11.20 pm for safety reasons due to heavy fog. At this stage, Manthey EMA’s car was running third overall, with Falken Motorsports’ two vehicles in eighth and ninth. The No. 33 Porsche was shared by drivers Klaus Bachler from Austria, Frenchman Julien Andlauer, Germany’s Sven Müller and the Belgian Alessio Picariello. The sister car was crewed by Martin Ragginger from Austria and the Germans Tim Heinemann, Nico Menzel and Joel Eriksson from Sweden. Lionspeed GP and Dinamic GT were in positions 12 and 13 before the unscheduled break. Herberth Motorsport followed in 16th place with the sixth up to 416 kW (565 hp) GT3 racing car made in Weissach.


It was not until 1.30 pm that the race director gave the green flag to restart the race for five formation laps behind the safety car after a 14-hour break. However, the persistent thick fog continued to severely impair visibility, especially on the Grand Prix circuit and the “Döttinger Höhe”. Manthey EMA’s Porsche was permitted to line up behind the safety car in second place since the vehicle had pitted shortly before the early red flag and was granted a lower minimum pit stop time than the BMW in front and shuffled up the order accordingly.


At around 3 pm after just five laps behind the safety car, the race director made the final call to stop the race. Due to differing refuelling strategies, the order had again changed with a view to a possible restart. The No. 33 Falken Porsche advanced to sixth place in the final classification of the 24-hour race, with LionSpeed GP in ninth. This earned the driver quartet Antares Au (Hong Kong), Patric Niederhauser (Switzerland), Indy Dontje (Netherlands) and Patrick Kolb (Germany) victory in the SP9-ProAm class. Tenth place went to the second car fielded by Falken Motorsports.


For the first time, the Nürburgring 24-hour race was also part of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC). In this separate classification, the No. 911 entry clinched victory. Manthey EMA had won the 12-hour race of the IGTC in Bathurst, Australia, in February. Thanks to this, Porsche extended its lead in the manufacturers’ standings.


“This race will go down in the history of the Nürburgring 24 Hours as one of the most unique,” explains Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “During the laps behind the safety car, our teams fine-tuned their strategies right up to the last minute in case the race was given the green flag again. Even if second place might seem disappointing at first, Manthey EMA’s podium finish is an extremely strong result. Lionspeed GP also secured the ProAm category win. We’re exceptionally proud that four of the six customer team 911 GT3 R racers that started the race finished in the top 10.”


Comments after the race
Ayhancan Güven (TR, Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911): “I can completely understand the race director’s decision – continuing under these conditions would’ve been too dangerous. We fought for the lead from the start and were almost always among the top three. Unfortunately, we weren’t in first place when the red flag came out. Obviously, we wanted to win, but I’m still happy with our result.”


Julien Andlauer (F, Falken Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 R #33): “I’m almost lost for words to describe this race. Constantly changing conditions made it extremely difficult from the outset. The team did a fantastic job under these circumstances. Unfortunately, we were hit by penalty right at the start because we were slightly too fast in the pit lane. That threw us far back. Afterwards, we were very consistent, especially in the dry. We collected a lot of data and a wealth of experience for next year.”


Patric Niederhauser (CH, Lionspeed GP, Porsche 911 GT3 R #24): “The race didn’t go as we would’ve preferred because of the cancellation. Still, we were determined to win the ProAm class, and we did. We can be very proud of that, because thanks to a great strategy, we succeeded in making up a few positions at the end. If the race had been allowed to restart, we might even have had a chance of an outright win. Nevertheless, the race director made the right decision. My first 24-hour race here with Porsche went very well, I’m very pleased.”


1. Stippler/Mies/Feller/Marschall (D/D/CH/D), Audi #16, 50 laps
2. Estre/Güven/Preining/Vanthoor (F/TR/A/B), Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, 50 laps
3. Harper/Hesse/Weerts (UK/D/B), BMW #72, 50 laps
6. Andlauer/Bachler/Müller/Picariello (F/A/D/B), Falken Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 R #33, 50 laps
9. Au/Niederhauser/P. Kolb/Dontje (HKG/CH/D/NL), Lionspeed GP, Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, 50 laps
10. Eriksson/Heinemann/Menzel/Ragginger (S/D/D/A), Falken Motorsports, Porsche 911 GT3 R #44, 50 laps
13. Buus/Dienst/Holzer/Seefried (DK/D/D/D), Dinamic GT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #54, 50 laps
16. Renauer/V. Kolb/Olsen/Campbell (D/D/N/AUS), Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R #5, 49 laps

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