Porsche customer teams managed to secure a number of successes at the Nürburgring 24-hour race, witnessed by 205,000 spectators: In six categories, sports cars from Zuffenhausen claimed the number one spot on the podium. In the overall classification, the best 911 GT3 R finished on position 6. With a record number of 44 cars, the sports car manufacturer made up the lion’s share of the grid for the first time at Germany’s largest motorsport event.
Manthey Racing won the SP7 class with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR. The Black Falcon TMD Friction squad beat the opposition in the SP10 and V6 classes with the Porsche Cayman GT4 and the Porsche Carrera. The Care for Climate team associated with the German rapper “Smudo” (Die Fantastischen Vier) won the AT class with the Porsche Cayman GT4. Teichmann Racing proved unbeatable in the Cup 3 class with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, as did the Porsche Cayman of PROsport Performance in the V5 category. The #150 Cayman GT4 Clubsport also performed well in the SP-X class, finishing 2nd after a mostly trouble-free race, only beaten to first place by the pole-setting SCG003C.
The best Porsche 911 GT3 R in the overall classification was the vehicle with the starting number 31. Taking up the race from 29th on the grid, Michael Christensen, Klaus Bachler, Lucas Luhr and Norbert Siedler driving for Frikadelli Racing Team made their way up the field to finish the Eifel marathon on 6th position. Their teammates in the #30 car put in a spirited drive to bring the Porsche home in 17th position after 24 hours.
Four other Porsche 911 GT3 R didn’t make it to the chequered flag at the 45th running of the long-distance classic. Manthey Racing’s 500 hp nine-elevens with the starting number 59 and 12 were sidelined with technical troubles. The #911 had to be pushed back to the garage after being shunted from the race. The same fate met Falken Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R (#44).
160 vehicles with more than 600 drivers took up the 45th edition of the Eifel marathon.
“Porsche was very successful in the classes, which underlines that Porsche’s customer and clubsport were important in all classes here at the Nürburgring. On the other hand, when we look at the top class it’s rather disheartening. We had a lot of bad luck and we lost the cars due to accidents. There were also technical problems with two customer vehicles which forced us to finally pull four of the six GT3 cars out. However, the two other vehicles tackled the 24-hour race without problems. A top ten result is okay, but it’s not why we’d travelled to the Nürburgring.”
Michael Christensen (911 GT3 R #31): “I’m satisfied with this result. The mechanics, engineers and drivers worked well together. Over the entire 24 hours we didn’t touch any other vehicle, and that’s pretty unusual for the Green Hell. At least the shower at the end played in our hands. We changed to wet weather tires and so Lucas was able to make it up to P6.”
Patrick Pilet (911 GT3 R #911): “This is a tough result for the entire team, we’ve all worked very hard over the past weeks. We fought hard and tried everything, but unfortunately we couldn’t fix the car after the incident with another contender. That’s how it is in the Green Hell, anything can happen here. We have to look to the future and return even stronger next year.”
Laurens Vanthoor (911 GT3 R #44): “This retirement is disappointing. We worked our way up the field without taking too many risks. Our pace was good, but ultimately the
Nürburgring won and we lost.”
Overall race result
1. De Phillippi/Mies/Winkelhock/van der Linde (US/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, 158 Runden
2. Palttala/Catsburg/Sims/Westbrook (BE/NL/GB/GB), BMW M6 GT3, 158 Runden
3. Frijns/Fässler/Müller/Rast (NL/CH/CH/AT), Audi R8 LMS, 158 Runden
6. Bachler/Christensen/Luhr/Siedler (AT/DK/D/AT), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 157 Runden
17. Abbelen/Schmitz/Ziegler/Müller (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 152 Runden
Porsche class winners
AT: Care For Climate, von Löwis/„Smudo“/Schellhaas/Duffner (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman GT4
Cup 3: Teichmann Racing, Markus Oestreich/Moritz Oestreich/Jürgen von Gartzen/Sebastian von Gartzen, (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport
V5: PROsport Performance, Schöning/Böckmann/Nett/Muytjens (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman
V6: Black Falcon Team TMD Friction, Al Faisal/Bolz/Leib/Schoeller, (SA/D/D/D), Porsche Carrera
SP10: Black Falcon Team TMD Friction, Gómez/Lethmate/Kaya/Piana (USA/D/TR/IT), Porsche Cayman GT4
SP7: Manthey Racing, Aus/Oeverhaus/Jahn/Bollrath, (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR