Monday, May 25, 2009

Manthey Racing Wins Nurburgring 24 Hour Race In Porsche 911 GT3 RSR


MANTHEY RACING HAS secured its fourth successive win at the Nurburgring 24 Hour, its Porsche 911 GT3 RSR team crossing the line ahead of Abt Sportsline’s Audi R8 LMS.

The team of Timo Bernhard, Marc Lieb, Romain Dumas and Marcel Tiemann profited from the reliability of their Porsche as rivals fell by the wayside, to complete 155 laps of the storied Nordschleife circuit.

Manthey Racing’s sister Porsche came in third, completing a memorable weekend for the German outfit.

For Tiemann, the result marks his sixth win overall, and fifth in succession - a record in the event’s 37 race history.

“I reckon that this one was the toughest of all my five wins because beating the works-Audis is something different indeed,” said Tiemann.

“The Audis kept the pace at a very high level. At the end, we did lap times like we did last year, in spite of the changed regulations. In terms of speed, we had to step up a little bit to catch up with the Audis.”

During the first stint, Manthey Racing’s Marc Lieb found himself locked in a battle with pole sitter Dirk Adorf’s Ford GT before his rival clipped a slower car when attempting to lap it.


The team’s next challenge came from the Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS of Marc Basseng, Marcel Fassler, Mike Rockenfeller and Frank Stippler, trading the lead back and forth around the 20.8 kilometre circuit for much of the race.

However, a drive-shaft failure ended their charge, handing second place on the podium to the sister Audi of Abt Sportsline.

Despite missing on the top spot, second-placed Audi team owner Christian Abt was pleased with the performance, crediting the result to the team’s conservative approach.

“I had been involved in the development of the Audi R8 from the very beginning. Therefore, I knew what this car is up to. I thought that playing it safe would be better, so we backed off, and as it shows, that was the right way,” he said.