Porsche Wins Nürburgring 24 Hours
The Manthey-Racing team took overall victory in the gruelling Nürburgring 24 Hours at the weekend, Porsche’s first victory since 2011 on the long-distance circuit and the brand’s twelfth in history. The No912 911 GT3 R was driven by Porsche works drivers Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet, Frédéric Makowiecki and Briton Nick Tandy.
The Nürburgring 24 race is one of the largest motorsport events in the world, this year it attracted 210,000 spectators to the Eifel region of Germany, more than 500 drivers competed in 148 cars. With 43 vehicles, Porsche was the most strongly represented marque. The No912 entry started the race on Saturday at 15:30 from sixth on the grid but fell behind with a puncture. During the night it caught up with the frontrunners and moved into second place, despite receiving a time penalty.
The race was halted due to fog, but was restarted on Sunday at 13.45, the works-supported Manthey-Racing team’s final driver swap put Makowiecki into the car, in pouring rain he snatched the lead of the race with a masterful overtaking manoeuvre just 70 minutes before the end, crossing the finish line in first position having completed 135 laps.
The Falken Motorsports squad, also driving a 911, concluded its 24-hour race in ninth place having started from second on the grid. The No44 911 GT3 R driven by Klaus Bachler, Sven Müller, Martin Ragginger and Dirk Werner had been running in the top five for a long time, but as rain set in during the night it lost contact with the front of the pack and was unable to close the gap back down.
After the race Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President Motorsport and GT Cars, commented: “That was truly a race of the century, simply indescribable under the circumstances: with the rain, the red flag and that incredible final spurt. At no other endurance race in the world do you get two drivers sprinting against each other for one and a half hours. Fred secured this triumph with his sensational overtaking manoeuvre. We hope that Dr. Wolfgang Porsche is pleased with this belated present for his 75th birthday.”
Nick Tandy said: “That was one of the most eventful races in my career. We experienced setbacks, but we knew that we had a winning car, a top team and top drivers. The restart towards the end played into our hands and Fred’s final stint was indicative of the entire race. Whenever we needed to, the team, drivers and car delivered a perfect performance.”