The FIA World Endurance Championship WEC will make the final switch to vehicles in the FIA GT3 category next year. The GTE-Pro class, in which Porsche had successfully competed with a works team for ten years, was discontinued for the current 2023 season. The vehicles were prepared and fielded in this class by Manthey. In its first year of racing in 2013, the team clinched a class victory at Le Mans. This season, the vehicles in the GTE category, which includes the Porsche 911 RSR, are only eligible to tackle the amateur class GTE-Am.
Porsche has chosen Manthey
From 2024, only vehicles in the new LMGT3 class will be allowed on the GT grid, including the latest-generation Porsche 911 GT3 R producing up to 415 kW (565 PS). Due to the large field in the top hypercar category, places in the 2024 LMGT3 category are extremely limited. Each interested manufacturer will be allocated only two grid slots. The selected entry team or teams will start next year after the WEC has confirmed the entry. Porsche has chosen Manthey for sporting, strategic and historical reasons.
“We had huge interest from potential, strong operational teams. The decision wasn’t easy,” explains Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “However, since the grid spots are limited, we had to make this decision. Our choice fell on Manthey for a number of reasons. Besides the fact that it is a subsidiary, several other factors speak in favour of Manthey: The team is very familiar with the Porsche 911 GT3 R from DTM races and major endurance classics, among others. Moreover, Manthey is closely acquainted with the special characteristics of the FIA WEC thanks to many years of factory racing with the Porsche 911 RSR. Last but not least, Porsche’s successful history with the team is an important factor. Together with Manthey, we’ve won the world championship and clinched three class victories at Le Mans. We’re confident that we’ll be strongly represented in the new LMGT3 class next year.”
“The small number of allocated grid positions in the new LMGT3 field of the WEC doesn’t quite do justice to Porsche Motorsport’s broad-based approach to customer racing, unfortunately,” explains Michael Dreiser, Director of Sales at Porsche Motorsport. “This year we have five to eight customer Porsches in the GT category alone. In addition, there are two 963 racers in the hypercar class. We hope that the LMGT3 category will evolve well from 2024 and that we may be able to compete with more customer teams in the future.”
Record winner at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife
The Manthey squad from Meuspath is considered one of the most successful teams in the international GT3 scene. At the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, Manthey holds the record number of wins with seven victories. For the 2023 season, the team expanded its commitment and fielded two cars in the prestigious DTM. This is proving fruitful: After three events, works driver Thomas Preining from Austria is leading the drivers’ championship flying the Manthey colours.
“I’m proud that we can return to the FIA WEC Endurance Championship as an operational team and thus expand our GT3 programme next year,” comments Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director Manthey Racing GmbH. “We’ve already notched up successes in the WEC with Porsche and have a lot of experience and know-how regarding the tracks and procedures. The 2024 season will be exciting and I’m particularly pleased that we’ll be back at Le Mans.”
Motorsport Team Manthey was founded in 1996 by former racing driver Olaf Manthey. The champion of the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland (1990) and two-time DTM runner-up (1984, 1985) gradually stepped back from the operational side of the business from 2013 following a merger with Raeder Motorsport. Since the end of that year, Porsche AG has held a 51-percent share in Manthey. The company is managed by brothers Martin and Nicolas Raeder. The team’s name and drivers with which Manthey will contest the 2024 FIA WEC will be announced at a later date.