Bad luck hit the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R car of Kévin Estre (F), Romain Dumas (F), Laurens Vanthoor (B) and Earl Bamber (NZ) at the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The second of three Manthey-run Porsche 911 GT3 R racers led the field as the pole-setter right from the start of the Eifel classic. During the night the car hit oil, slid from the track and crashed into the barriers, putting an end to the strong, dominant charge.
“The Manthey squad have done a great job,” commented Bamber. “The balance of the car was very good, we were fast and we were in the lead.
“Unfortunately, the accident happened and we had to relinquish a possible victory. But that’s the Nordschleife.”
The #912 sister car won the race in pouring rain, the nine-eleven fielded by the Manthey-Racing team took the lead 70 minutes before the end of the race and held onto it to the flag. Having started the race on Saturday at 15:30 hrs in bright sunshine from sixth on the grid, the Porsche fell far behind with a puncture.
During the night, the driver line-up of Richard Lietz (A), Patrick Pilet (F), Frédéric Makowiecki (F) and Nick Tandy (GB) caught up to the frontrunners and moved into second place despite a time penalty. When the race was restarted on Sunday after fog halted the race at 13.45 hours, the final driver Frédéric Makowiecki snatched the lead with a masterful overtaking manoeuvre and crossed the finish line in first place after 135 laps.
This marks Porsche’s first victory since 2011 on the legendary long-distance racetrack and hands the brand its twelfth victory.