May 28, 2017

Six Porsche class wins at the Eifel marathon

Porsche customer teams managed to secure a number of successes at the Nürburgring 24-hour race, witnessed by 205,000 spectators: In six categories, sports cars from Zuffenhausen claimed the number one spot on the podium.

The race

In the overall classification, the best 911 GT3 R finished on position 6. With a record number of 44 cars, the sports car manufacturer made up the lion’s share of the grid for the first time at Germany’s largest motorsport event. 

Manthey Racing won the SP7 class with the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR. The Black Falcon TMD Friction squad beat the opposition in the SP10 and V6 classes with the Porsche Cayman GT4 and the Porsche Carrera. The Care for Climate team associated with the German rapper “Smudo” (Die Fantastischen Vier) won the AT class with the Porsche Cayman GT4. Teichmann Racing proved unbeatable in the Cup 3 class with the Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport, as did the Porsche Cayman of PROsport Performance in the V5 category. The #150 Cayman GT4 Clubsport also performed well in the SP-X class, finishing 2nd after a mostly trouble-free race, only beaten to first place by the pole-setting SCG003C.

Four Porsche 911 GT3 R didn’t make it to the chequered flag

The best Porsche 911 GT3 R in the overall classification was the vehicle with the starting number 31. Taking up the race from 29th on the grid, Michael Christensen, Klaus Bachler, Lucas Luhr and Norbert Siedler driving for Frikadelli Racing Team made their way up the field to finish the Eifel marathon on 6th position. Their teammates in the #30 car put in a spirited drive to bring the Porsche home in 17th position after 24 hours. 

Four other Porsche 911 GT3 R didn’t make it to the chequered flag at the 45th running of the long-distance classic. Manthey Racing’s 500 hp nine-elevens with the starting number 59 and 12 were sidelined with technical troubles. The #911 had to be pushed back to the garage after being shunted from the race. The same fate met Falken Motorsports’ Porsche 911 GT3 R (#44). 

Comments on the race

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President of Motorsport and GT cars:
“Porsche was very successful in the classes, which underlines that Porsche’s customer and clubsport were important in all classes here at the Nürburgring. On the other hand, when we look at the top class it’s rather disheartening. We had a lot of bad luck and we lost the cars due to accidents. There were also technical problems with two customer vehicles which forced us to finally pull four of the six GT3 cars out. However, the two other vehicles tackled the 24-hour race without problems. A top ten result is okay, but it’s not why we’d travelled to the Nürburgring.” 

Michael Christensen (911 GT3 R #31): “I’m satisfied with this result. The mechanics, engineers and drivers worked well together. Over the entire 24 hours we didn’t touch any other vehicle, and that’s pretty unusual for the Green Hell. At least the shower at the end played in our hands. We changed to wet weather tires and so Lucas was able to make it up to P6.”

Patrick Pilet (911 GT3 R #911): “This is a tough result for the entire team, we’ve all worked very hard over the past weeks. We fought hard and tried everything, but unfortunately we couldn’t fix the car after the incident with another contender. That’s how it is in the Green Hell, anything can happen here. We have to look to the future and return even stronger next year.”

Laurens Vanthoor (911 GT3 R #44): “This retirement is disappointing. We worked our way up the field without taking too many risks. Our pace was good, but ultimately the Nürburgring won and we lost.”

Overall race result

1. De Phillippi/Mies/Winkelhock/van der Linde (US/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, 158 Runden
2. Palttala/Catsburg/Sims/Westbrook (BE/NL/GB/GB), BMW M6 GT3, 158 Runden
3. Frijns/Fässler/Müller/Rast (NL/CH/CH/AT), Audi R8 LMS, 158 Runden
6. Bachler/Christensen/Luhr/Siedler (AT/DK/D/AT), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 157 Runden 
17. Abbelen/Schmitz/Ziegler/Müller (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 152 Runden

The fastest 911 GT3 R in the overall classification

Porsche class winners

AT: Care For Climate, von Löwis/„Smudo“/Schellhaas/Duffner (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman GT4

Cup 3: Teichmann Racing, Markus Oestreich/Moritz Oestreich/Jürgen von Gartzen/Sebastian von Gartzen, (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport

V5: PROsport Performance, Schöning/Böckmann/Nett/Muytjens (D/D/D/D), Porsche Cayman

V6: Black Falcon Team TMD Friction, Al Faisal/Bolz/Leib/Schoeller, (SA/D/D/D), Porsche Carrera

SP10: Black Falcon Team TMD Friction, Gómez/Lethmate/Kaya/Piana (USA/D/TR/IT), Porsche Cayman GT4

SP7: Manthey Racing, Aus/Oeverhaus/Jahn/Bollrath, (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR

Interim report after 2 hours

Almost all of the vehicles were able to significantly improve on their grid positions and are now running in promising positions. Only the number 12 vehicle run by Manthey Racing and driven by Mathieu Jaminet (France) had misfiring problems in the first laps, but could be repaired in the pits. In the meantime, the 500 hp GT racer from Weissach has rejoined the race. 

Comments on the first 2 hours

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President of Motorsport and GT Cars:
“The high air temperatures at the start of the race were very unusual for the Nürburgring. We had a track temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. The #12 Porsche 911 GT3 R began to misfire straight after the start, the spark plug and coils had to be changed. Now the vehicle’s back out on the track and making up ground. When the temperatures drop later in the cool of the night, we’ll see how the performance of different cars is.”

Report Top 30 qualifying

In the Top 30 Qualifying, Sven Müller started as 19th and achieved his best time in his second lap clocking a time of 8:18.110 minutes. For Sunday’s race, the German from the town Bingen shares the cockpit of his #59 Porsche fielded by Manthey Racing with Hari Prozcyk, Randy Walls and Steve Smith.

With a 2.999-second gap to the leaders in the individual time trials, his team colleague Mathieu Jaminet (Matteo Cairoli/Otto Klohs/Robert Renauer) planted his #12 nine-eleven on P11. Behind him, Frédéric Makowiecki (also Manthey Racing) posted 16th with the #911 car (Romain Dumas/Patrick Pilet/Richard Lietz) and Martin Ragginger from Falken Motorsports (Jörg Bergmeister/Laurens Vanthoor/Dirk Werner) on position 25 with the number 44 vehicle. 

Comments on the Top 30 qualifying

Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Vice President of Motorsport and GT Cars: “We’re not dissatisfied with the result and we’re now turning our complete focus to preparing ourselves for tomorrow’s race.”

Sven Müller, 911 GT3 R (59), Manthey Racing: “I’m very pleased. The two laps of the Top 30 Qualifying are the best of the entire weekend, because you have a free run and you can really go flat-out. The conditions were difficult because the sun was low. There are two or three corners where you’re virtually blinded by the light. I feel we’re well prepared for the race.”

Mathieu Jaminet, 911 GT3 R (12), Manthey Racing: “I’m happy with my performance. I managed to post my best time in the first lap, which put us on position eleven. The field is very tight and our car feels good. I’m feeling confident for the race.”

Frédéric Makowiecki, 911 GT3 R (911), Manthey Racing: “I came in after one lap because I couldn’t improve on my time with deteriorating tyres. The car seems quite okay, it would have been better to have landed further up the grid, but the race is over 24 hours and we’ve hopefully found a good setup for this.”

Martin Ragginger, 911 GT3 R (44), Falken Motorsports: “We opted for a softer tyre compound and obviously the conditions were too warm. The car was very difficult to drive, particularly on the Nordschleife. P25 is not the best starting position, but our speed looks considerably better for the race and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Result Top 30 Qualifying

1. Westphal/Mailleux/Simonsen/Laser (US/FR/SE/D), SCG003C, 8:15.427 minutes
2. De Phillippi/Mies/Winkelhock/van der Linde (US/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, + 0.675 sec.
3. Frijns/Fässler/Müller/Rast (NL/CH/CH/AT), Audi R8 LMS, + 0.747 sec.
8. Müller/Prozcyk/Walls/Smith (D/CH/D/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.683 sec.
11. Jaminet/Cairoli/Klohs/Renauer (FR/IT/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 2.999 sec.
16. Makowiecki/Pilet/Dumas/Lietz(FR/FR/FR/AT), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 3.663 sec.
25. Ragginger/Bergmeister/Werner/Vanthoor.(AT/D/D/BE), Porsche 911 GT3 R, 
+ 6,627 sec.

Info

160 vehicles with more than 600 drivers took up the 45th edition of the Eifel marathon.

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