Nürburgring 24-hours Race Report
Porsche endured a difficult race on the Nordschleife for the Nürburgring 24-hours…
Hopes of a good result for the new 911 GT3 R at the Nürburgring 24-hours largely died on Sunday morning, when the second 911 to retire from the endurance classic came to a halt.
The Works supported Manthey Racing squad had worked through the night to rebuild the No911 entry following a spectacular crash in Top 30 Qualifying on Friday evening while Kevin Estre was at the wheel. But further difficulties lay ahead for during the racer proper. Starting from 29th on the grid, the No911 machine driven by Earl Bamber, Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Kévin Estre, was put into an early retirement when Tandy hit the barriers on lap two of the race in terrible conditions. Tandy was one of several drivers to struggle in the opening laps, forcing the race to be stopped amid rain, hail and ice on the 15-mile long track.
With the red flag deployed at 16.20 hours, it was three-hours later that racing resumed. Richard Lietz had been running outside the top 10 in the sister No912 911 GT3 R during the early stages of the race. When the red flag was brought in, the car, driven by Jörg Bergmeister, Michael Christensen and Frédéric Makowiecki, gradually began working its way up the order. Come Sunday morning the Manthey Racing run car had made it safely through the night and was circulating in sixth spot overall. Sadly, though, the aim of achieving a good result died with around four-hours to go when the No912 car also retired.
With the hotly tipped Frikadelli Racing Team No3 911 GT3 R of new Top Gear TV presenter and renowned ’Ring ace, Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman, Norbert Siedler and Klaus Abbelen also out of the race, Porsche’s hopes fell to the Falken Motorsports squad. The No44 Falken car driven by Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori, ran solidly in the top 10, making its final pit stop with an hour-and-a-half of the dramatic race remaining. It crossed the line in ninth place, but it was not the result the team had hoped for.
Porsche will now look for a better result at the upcoming Le Mans 24-hours on 18-19th June.