Porsche, Manthey EMA and Thomas Preining launch Project Title Defence

Next weekend in Oschersleben, the DTM heads into its 40th season with 20 vehicles lining up on the grid. Porsche’s customer team Manthey EMA brings two 911 GT3 R cars to the eight doubleheader race weekends. Defending champion Thomas Preining will helm the No. 91 car. His new teammate Ayhancan Güven takes over the second “Grello” fielded by the legendary outfit from Germany’s Eifel region.

Porsche Motorsport and the Manthey EMA customer team will tackle the 2024 DTM season next weekend in Oschersleben (26-28 April) as reigning champions of the manufacturers’, teams’ and drivers’ classifications. The Austrian works driver and defending champion Thomas Preining welcomes a new member to the team: Ayhancan Güven from Turkey will drive the second ca. 416 kW (565 PS) Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Nürburgring-based racing team. In 2024, the DTM calendar will again include eight race weekends, each featuring two races. “The DTM celebrates its anniversary year and the current champion comes from Porsche. I’m very proud of that,” says Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President Porsche Motorsport. “The switch to the worldwide FIA GT3 class in 2022 has fostered brand diversity and made the show even better for the fans. Now it’s time to keep things consistent. The series, which is particularly important for Germany and also respected internationally, enhances motor racing. For Porsche as one of the largest suppliers in the customer racing sector, the DTM and everything that it encompasses are of major importance.”

Changed circumstances – particularly in the manufacturers’ classification

Last season, six 911 race cars from three customer teams flew the Porsche colours in the DTM. This year, that number will be reduced to two due to the withdrawal of Team75 Bernhard and Toksport WRT. “Given that the two best-placed vehicles from a brand are counted in each race, this of course makes it more difficult for us to earn points towards the manufacturers’ championship,” explains Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R. “Still, it would be a little presumptuous to expect a repeat of the huge success from 2023 – the fact that we won all three titles last year is a phenomenal result. This season we face an even greater task because we’re now in the position of the hunted.”

Thomas Preining, Ayhancan Güven, Manthey EMA, 911 GT3 R, DTM, 2024, Porsche AG
Thomas Preininger and Ayhancan Güven, Team Manthey EMA

In relation to the driver pairing of Thomas Preining and Ayhancan Güven, Golz regards the Manthey EMA team as an ideal match for this new role: “Both know the DTM, the tracks and the environment from the last two years. I anticipate a duel on an equal footing within the team, where both will push each other. Thomas remained cool, calm and collected last year, no matter how great the pressure was in qualifying or the race. Ayhancan is a real fighter with tremendous talent, especially in battles for positions and overtaking manoeuvres. It’ll be interesting to see how they both evolve.”

Works driver Preining and former Porsche Junior Güven will go up against 18 rivals from ten teams with GT3 racing cars from six other manufacturers. “I think the lineup for the upcoming DTM season is very strong and I expect the competition to become even tougher as the season progresses,” says Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director of Manthey Racing GmbH. “Our expectation is of course to fight for the championship again in this field and be competitive. We have the same determination to win as last year, but we’re well aware that not everything will go our way.”

In terms of the DTM history, Nicolas Raeder emphasises: “We’re proud that we were able to contribute a small part to the illustrious history of the DTM last year. We consider it a special honour to start the championship’s 40th season as the reigning champions.”

911 GT3 R, Manthey EMA, DTM, 2024, Porsche AG

The 2024 DTM season

The ADAC promoters commemorate the 40th anniversary of the DTM with an action-packed programme. The highlight of the celebrations will be the racing weekend at the Norisring on 5-7 July: many drivers and vehicles from the past four decades of the racing series will attend the official DTM birthday party. Following tradition, the calendar includes eight events, each with two one-hour sprint races per weekend. Before each race, a 20-minute qualifying session will determine the grid lineup. One pit stop and tyre change is mandatory in every race.

The ADAC once again offers a classification for drivers, teams and manufacturers in the DTM. For the manufacturers’ ranking, the two best-placed vehicles from each brand are classified after each race. The distribution of points for positions one to 15 follows the tried and tested formula: 25-20-16-13-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. The top three qualifiers also receive points towards the drivers’ championship – the fastest earns three points and the third fastest gets one point.

DTM Starting Grid, 2024, Porsche AG
DTM starting field 2024

Between the opening round in Oschersleben and the traditional season finale in Hockenheim in October, the German series also competes at the Norisring in Nuremberg and the Nürburgring as well as at the Lausitzring and the Sachsenring. There are also two events across German borders: in Zandvoort in the Netherlands at the end of June and in Spielberg, Austria in September. In Germany, DTM fans can watch all races live on the free TV channel ProSieben. In addition to all qualifying sessions and races, the DTM’s own YouTube channel also streams the free practice sessions live in German and English each Friday.

Drivers’ comments on the 2024 season

Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91): “It means a great deal to me to contest the DTM’s 40th anniversary season as reigning champion. Despite winning the title last year, our approach stays the same: We’ll once again focus on starting the season well and scoring points regularly. I get along really well with my new teammate Ayhancan Güven. We work well together and push each other and the team forward.”

Ayhancan Güven (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90): “My first few months with Manthey EMA were incredible. With our victory in Bathurst, Australia and the two top-three results in the qualifiers for the Nürburgring 24-hour race, we’ve finished all races so far on the podium. Thomas and I get along very well both on and off the track. For me as a driver, it’s fantastic to be part of the title defending team. At the same time, expectations are always high. After my first DTM podium last year, I now want to win races.”

DTM Drivers, 2024, Porsche AG
DTM driver 2024

The 2024 DTM calendar (two races at each event)

26 – 28 April                         Oschersleben (Germany)

24 – 26 May                         Lausitzring (Germany)

7 – 9 June                             Zandvoort (Netherlands)

5 – 7 July                              Norisring (Germany)

16 – 18 August                     Nürburgring (Germany)

6 – 8 September                  Sachsenring (Germany)

27 – 29 September             Spielberg (Austria)

18 – 20 October                   Hockenheim (Germany)

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