Eight Porsche 911 GT3 R contest opening round of Europe’s toughest GT3 racing series

The Porsche customer teams Rutronik Racing and Pure Rxcing have wrapped up the season-opening round of the GT World Challenge Europe in positions five and eight. With P14 for Schumacher CLRT, another of the eight registered Porsche 911 GT3 R finished in the top 15 of the 55-strong field.

The next race in the Endurance Cup of GT World Challenge Europe is the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on the last weekend in June. The classic held on the Ardennes rollercoaster circuit in Belgium celebrates its centenary this year.

Rutronik Racing has finished round one of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS in fifth place as the best Porsche customer team. During the three-hour race on the Circuit Paul Ricard, Patric Niederhauser from Switzerland and the two former Porsche Juniors Julien Andlauer from France and Sven Müller from Germany advanced from 13th on the grid to fourth place. Shortly for the finish, however, they were narrowly beaten to the flag by a rival in the last lap. The three drivers Klaus Bachler (Austria), Alex Malykhin (Great Britain) and Joel Sturm (Germany) also made up eight places, ploughing from 16th at the start to finish eighth at the wheel of Pure Rxcing’s 911.

Bad luck, however, plagued the two former Porsche Juniors Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) and Laurin Heinrich (Germany). With their French teammate Dorian Boccolacci, they tackled the race on the 5.771-kilometre Grand Prix circuit at the Mediterranean from second on the grid. A fluffed first pit stop, at which the minimum refuelling time was not met among other mishaps, resulted in three drive-through penalties. However, from far down the 55-strong line-up, the three Schumacher CLRT drivers battled their way up to position 14.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Schumacher CLRT (#22), Ayhancan Güven (TR), Laurin Heinrich (D), Dorian Boccolacci (F), 2024, Porsche AG

As the best non-Pro car of the eight Porsche 911 GT3 R that started at Le Castellet, the two Germans Robert Renauer and Ralf Bohn with their Dutch teammate Morris Schuring achieved 28th overall, equivalent to seventh place in the Bronze Cup.

Renowned GT3 racing series with the Spa 24 Hours as the season highlight

The Fanatac GT Word Challenge Europe powered by AWA is one of the world’s most important GT3 racing series. In 2024, nine manufacturers will be represented in the championship, which this year includes a total of ten races and is divided equally into a Sprint Cup and an Endurance Cup. Fifty-five GT3 vehicles are entered to contest the long-distance classification, with the organisers expecting additional guest drivers for selected races. This particularly applies to the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. The second round of the Endurance Cup of the GT World Challenge Europe from 26-30 June is considered the highlight of the season. The classic in the Belgian Ardennes region celebrates its centenary in 2024. After Spa, the endurance calendar includes two more rounds on European soil with the Nürburgring (26-28 July) and Monza (20-22 September) before the series heads offshore for the finale in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 21 to 23 November.

“With a grid line-up of over 50 vehicles, the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe is the most popular GT3 racing series in the world,” explains Sebastian Golz, Porsche GT3 R Project Manager. “Almost all well-known manufacturers are represented in this championship, and the gripping battles for position in the opening race underline the competitiveness of this series. The GT World Challenge offers us a perfect stage to showcase the performance of our Porsche 911 GT3 R in direct competition with our competitors.”

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Lionspeed GP (#13), Florian Spengler (D), Patrick Kolb (D), Bastian Buus (DK); Porsche 911 GT3 R, Dinamic GT (#55), Jop Rappange (D), Marius Nakken (N), Christopher Zöchling (D), 2024, Porsche AG

The organising SRO Motorsports Group offers four classes for the GT World Challenge Europe: Pro, Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup. In addition to the overall Pro ranking, teams can enter one of the three remaining categories based on the official FIA driver classification. For example, the combination of one “Silver” and two “Gold” rankings can register for the Gold Cup, while a trio with one “Bronze” and “Silver” driver plus one “Gold” or “Platinum” driver are also eligible to compete in the Bronze Cup. For the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, teams can nominate a fourth driver per GT3 racing car.

Eight Porsche 911 GT3 R are registered for the Endurance Cup

Six Porsche customer teams have registered to contest the entire 2024 season of the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup with a total of eight 911 GT3 R race cars. Rutronik Racing competes with a 911 GT3 R in the Bronze Cup with the American Dustin Blattner, Germany’s Dennis Marschall and Loek Hartog from the Netherlands. In the Pro category, its second blue and yellow 911 will be shared by Patric Niederhauser and the former Porsche Juniors Sven Müller (2014 - 2016) and Julien Andlauer (2018 - 2019). Dinamic GT also competes with a pair of 911 GT3 R: in the Bronze Cup with Philipp Sager (Austria), last year’s Porsche DTM driver Marvin Dienst (Germany) and Guilherme Moura de Oliveira (Portugal) and in the Silver Cup with the Austrian Christopher Zöchling, the German Jop Rappange and Marius Nakken from Norway.

Newcomer Lionspeed GP has so far registered one driver for the entire season, last year's Porsche Junior and champion of the 2023 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, Bastian Buus from Denmark. The two former Porsche Juniors Ayhancan Güven and Laurin Heinrich join forces with last year’s winner of the Porsche Carrera Cup France, Dorian Boccolacci, to tackle the entire Endurance Cup season. The Frenchman won the Porsche Carrera Cup of his homeland last year. The three will contest the Pro category for the Schumacher CLRT squad, which is also taking up the GT World Challenge Europe challenge for the first time.

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Schumacher CLRT (#22), Ayhancan Güven (TR), Laurin Heinrich (D), Dorian Boccolacci (F), 2024, Porsche AG

Pure Rxcing also campaigns a Porsche 911 GT3 R in the Pro category at all rounds of the 2024 Endurance Cup with drivers Alex Malykhin, Joel Sturm and the former Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler. At the same time, the squad and its drivers will team up with Manthey Racing to contest the FIA Endurance World Championship, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Herberth Motorsport tackles the Bronze Cup in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup with Ralf Bohn, Robert Renauer and Morris Schuring.

Comments on the race in Le Castellet

Julien Andlauer (Rutronik Racing, Porsche 911 GT3 R #96): “As a team, we stood out with a good strategy today and our pit stops were absolutely flawless. This meant we could compensate for a lot because we certainly didn’t have the fastest 911 GT3 R in the field today – we were slightly off the pace in terms of performance this weekend. We have to take a good look at this now and, if possible, find solutions before the prologue to the 24 Hours of Spa at the end of May and for the race on the last weekend in June. We got the most out of it today, so I’m delighted to finish in the top five.”

Morris Schuring (Herberth Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91): “Had it not been for the 30-second time penalty for ignoring the track limits, we could’ve finished on the podium in the Bronze Cup with our Porsche. So we start the season with only seventh place in this ranking. Still, these points are critical for the championship. We made the best of the situation and are already looking ahead to the 24 Hours of Spa.”

Porsche 911 GT3 R, Herberth Motorsport (#91), Ralf Bohn (D), Morris Schuring (NL), Robert Renauer (D), 2024, Porsche AG


1. Farfus/Harper/Hesse (BR/UK/D), BMW M4 GT3 #998, 85 laps
2. Calderelli/Cairoli/Bortolotti (I/I/I), Lamborghini Huracan GT3 #63, +13.519 sec.
3. Stolz/Schiller/Gounon (D/D/F), Mercedes-AMG GT3 #2, +18.696 sec.
5. Andlauer/Niederhauser/Müller (F/CH/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #96, +29.325 sec.
8. Bachler/Malykhin/Sturm (A/UK/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #911, +41.609 sec.
14. Güven/Heinrich/Boccolacci (TR/D/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R #22, +1.16.048 min.
28. (7. BC) Bohn/Schuring/Renauer (D/NL/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, +1 lap
30. (9. BC) Spengler/Kolb/Buus (D/D/DK). Porsche 911 GT3 R #13, +1 lap
31. (10. BC) Marschall/Hartog/Blattner (D/NL/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R #97, +1 lap
35. (12. BC) Sager/Moura de Oliveira/Dienst (A/P/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #54, +1 lap
42. (7. SC) Rappange/Nakken/Zöchling (D/N/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #55, +1 lap

Pro = Pro class; SC = Silver Cup; BC = Bronze Cup
Full results: www.gt-world-challenge-europe.com/results

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