WATCH: victory for Porsche at the Nürburgring
The 911 GT3 R dominates a foggy weekend in the Eifel mountains
Manthey Racing has clinched its seventh outright victory at the Nürburgring 24-hours, with works drivers Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Matteo Cairoli in imperious form in the No. 911 911 GT3 R.
The 49th staging of the legendary 24-hour race began on Saturday afternoon in tricky conditions. Estre opened Manthey’s account with an inspired drive on a partly flooded track and within four laps, the Frenchman had charged up from eleventh to the front of the field. The other 911 GT3 Rs of Rutronik Racing, Huber Motorsport, KCMG, Frikadelli Racing and Falken Motorsports also made up several positions during the early stages.
However, despite the pace made evident in the qualifying race, Frikadelli Racing’s No. 30 entry was plagued by bad luck, with both a power steering defect and later a damaged differential throwing the car out of contention.
By 21:30 on Saturday, heavy fog had descended and poor visibility would enforce an unprecedented 14-hour break in proceedings. The race resumed shortly before midday on Sunday with just three and a half hours left to run, and once again it was Estre who treated the grandstands to some gripping racing. The 32-year-old roared up from sixth to take the lead again before handing the car over to Christensen. The experienced Dane maintained the position with consistently fast laps before Estre returned for the final hour, successfully defending their lead to take the flag some 8.8 seconds ahead of the next best car.
Behind them, the No. 44 Falken Motorsport narrowly missed out on the podium with a superb fourth, while the No. 33 sister car came in a very respectable ninth, just behind the GT3 R of Huber Motorsport whose eight spot gave them the win in Pro-Am. Accidents for Frikadelli Racing, KCMG and Rutronik Racing meant their cars finished the race in the pits.
Another great weekend for Manthey Racing also delivered the 13th overall victory for Porsche at the Nürburgring 24 Hours. “A race weekend doesn’t end much better than that,” said Sebastian Golz, Project Manager Porsche 911 GT3 R. “This victory is the result of a strong team effort from Manthey, close cooperation with Porsche and open communication between all teams. Thank you to everyone!”