Manthey EMA driver Thomas Preining repeats last year’s win at the Norisring

Championship leader Thomas Preining from Austria won Sunday’s race at the Norisring, repeating his victory from last year, which was Porsche’s first in the DTM. In Saturday’s race, Preining’s Manthey EMA teammate Dennis Olsen took the flag in third place after showcasing the immense potential of the Porsche 911 GT3 R on Germany’s only street circuit. After six of 16 rounds so far this season, Porsche, Manthey EMA and Preining lead the manufacturers‘, team and drivers’ classifications in the DTM.

After netting his maiden victory for Porsche in the DTM at the Norisring last year, Thomas Preining repeated his feat this weekend for his new team Manthey EMA. In the scorching heat of Sunday’s race, the Austrian works driver snatched the lead from the BMW duo Sheldon von der Linde and René Rast halfway through the race thanks to a clever pit strategy and two inspired overtaking manoeuvres. Over the weekend, around 102,000 spectators travelled to Germany’s only city race to witness the race action. 

“I’m delighted that Thomas Preining succeeded in repeating last year’s victory and retained his lead in the standings after six of this season’s 16 races,” stated Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “Manthey has advanced to the top of the team standings after this weekend. The fact that the team is a newcomer to the championship makes this achievement all the more impressive. It’s a shame about Ayhancan Güven. He could’ve finished on the podium as well if he hadn’t been handed a penalty for his minor rule violation during the pit stop.”

Thomas Laudenbach (Vice President Porsche Motorsport), Norisring, 2023, Porsche AG
Thomas Laudenbach, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport

“Nuremberg is simply our turf, the Norisring suits the qualities of the Porsche 911 GT3 R,” concludes Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R. “Thanks to his clever strategy and flawless drive, Thomas certainly deserved to win today. With Dennis Olsen’s third place on Saturday, Manthey EMA secured two podium finishes in one weekend – and in one of the world’s toughest GT3 championships. On top of that, the points haul of our two talented youngsters from Team75 Motorsport, Laurin Heinrich and Ayhancan Güven, also deserve great praise. With a little more luck, both could’ve made it onto the podium as well.”

Preining uses pit-stop traffic perfectly to his advantage

Like the day prior, Preining tackled Sunday’s race from second on the grid but was demoted to fourth place after the opening lap. This put him directly behind Team75 Motorsport driver Ayhancan Güven, who had started from P5. Taking up the race from ninth on the grid in the second Manthey EMA car, Dennis Olsen trailed the two Porsches. At first, the top five were able to pull away from the rest of the field. Initially, there were next to no changes to the order. Laurin Heinrich (Team75 Motorsport) in eighth place and the Toksport WRT duo Christian Engelhart in 14th and Tim Heinemann in 20th also maintained their positions at first.

Problems during his mandatory pit stop saw Güven drop out of the leading group. Preining managed to quickly close the gap to the pair of BMWs in front of him. At the midway mark, the 24-year-old squeezed past the reigning champion Sheldon van der Linde while braking for the hairpin. A few laps later, he swept past René Rast in the same spot with a spirited manoeuvre. The Austrian took the lead and pulled clear of the field to cross the finish line first with a commanding two-second advantage.

Teammate Dennis Olsen finished the race in sixth place after a spectacular duel with Laurin Heinrich in the final third of the event. In searing temperatures, last year’s Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland champion wrapped up Sunday’s battle at the Norisring in seventh place, one position ahead of his teammate Güven. The two Toksport WRT drivers Tim Heinemann and Christian Engelhart finished 16th and 17th – narrowly missing out on points.

Thomas Preining (A), Manthey EMA (#91), Norisring, 2023, Porsche AG
Thomas Preining

Olsen secures first success of the weekend with third on Saturday

The first race of the weekend was considerably more eventful than Sunday’s. With a second and third place on the grid for Preining and Güven, Porsche’s hand for Saturday’s race looked promising. “Unfortunately, our performance fell short of expectations and possibilities,” stated Project Manager Golz after the chequered flag was waved. Olsen, who started from position eleven, provided a ray of hope. The Norwegian managed to stay out of most of the skirmishes and worked his way up to third place thanks to several impressive overtaking manoeuvres – his best result of the season in the DTM so far. Hampered by a turbulent start, Manthey EMA teammate Preining returned from the first lap in seventh place. A troublesome pit stop, during which a problem with the central nut of the left front wheel cost around ten seconds, threw the Austrian further down the field. He had to settle for an unfortunate P12 finish.

Dennis Olsen (N), Manthey EMA (#90), Norisring, 2023, Porsche AG
Dennis Olsen

Güven managed to benefit from the dramatic scenes in the first hairpin after the race began and promptly moved up to second place. Following the compulsory pit stop, however, the Team75 Motorsport driver couldn’t find his way back to his original race pace and had to allow several competitors past. He saw the finish line in fifth place. His teammate Heinrich was shunted in the first corner and had to pit for a tyre change. From the back of the field, he fought his way up to tenth position and, in the process, set the fastest race lap. However, while braking for the hairpin, he slid into the rear of his colleague Heinemann, who had to retire shortly afterwards with a damaged rear diffuser. When Christian Engelhart retired following a crash into the barriers with his 911 GT3 R, Toksport WRT left the first race empty-handed.


Quotes from the race weekend at the Norisring

Thomas Preining (Manthey EMA, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91): “We were very strong on Saturday, but unfortunately lost the race in the pits after a strong qualifying. On Sunday, I managed to start from the front row again and win after some intense duels and smooth overtaking manoeuvres – that’s a fantastic feeling. I’m even more thrilled about my victory because my family and friends were here to support me. Because it’s so close to Austria, the Norisring is essentially a second home race for me. I’ve now been able to bring home back-to-back victories.”

Ayhancan Güven (Team75 Motorsport, Porsche 911 GT3 R #24): “We were on track for a podium place in both races, but our pit stops were less than optimal this weekend. As a result, we lost our favourable starting positions in both races. On Sunday, I was also given a penalty lap due to a mistake. We’ll now analyse exactly where we need to improve and come back stronger.”

Ayhancan Güven (TR), Team75 Bernhard (#24), Norisring, 2023, Porsche AG
Ayhancan Güven

Tim Heinemann (Toksport WRT, Porsche 911 GT3 R #9): “With 19th on the grid on Sunday, it was obvious that we were in for a very difficult race – all the more so because the Norisring offers very few overtaking opportunities. But thanks to my team’s good strategy, we were able to make up positions at the pit stop. My 911 GT3 R ran very well and my race speed was there. Unfortunately, we couldn’t translate this into a good result because of the slower traffic. We know that we need to work on our qualifying performance to put ourselves in a better position on race day.”


Results race 5:
1. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), BMW M4 GT3 #1, 69 laps
2. René Rast (D), BMW M4 GT3 #33, +1.520 seconds
3. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, +2.547 seconds
5. Ayhancan Güven (TR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, +5.042 seconds
10. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, +13.251 seconds
12. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, +21.138 seconds
DNF Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, +14 laps
DNF Christian Engelhart (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, +58 laps

Results race 6:
1. Thomas Preining (A), Porsche 911 GT3 R #91, 72 laps
2. René Rast (D), BMW M4 GT3 #33, +2.181 seconds
3. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), BMW M4 GT3 #1, +2.612 seconds
6. Dennis Olsen (N), Porsche 911 GT3 R #90, +5.063 seconds
7. Laurin Heinrich (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #75, +5.635 seconds
8. Ayhancan Güven (TR), Porsche 911 GT3 R #24, +8.046 seconds
16. Tim Heinemann (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #9, +21.862 seconds
17. Christian Engelhart (D), Porsche 911 GT3 R #99, +23.049 seconds

Drivers’ classification after 6 of 16 races:
1. Thomas Preining (A/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 88 points 
2. Sheldon van der Linde (RSA/Schubert Motorsport/BMW), 78 points
3. Ricardo Feller (CH/ABT Sportsline/Audi), 61 points
8. Dennis Olsen (N/Manthey EMA/Porsche), 52 points
9. Tim Heinemann (D/Toksport WRT/Porsche), 42 points
10. Christian Engelhart (D/Toksport WRT/Porsche), 36 points
14. Ayhancan Güven (TR/ Team75 Motorsport/Porsche), 32 points
15. Laurin Heinrich (D/Team75 Bernhard/Porsche), 31 points

Team classification after 6 of 16 races:
1. Manthey EMA (Porsche), 131 points
2. Schubert Motorsport (BMW), 130 points
3. SSR Performance (Lamborghini), 116 points
5. Toksport WRT (Porsche), 76 points
7. Team75 Motorsport (Porsche), 62 points

Manufacturers’ classification after 6 of 16 races:
1. Porsche, 180 points
2. BMW, 157 points
3. Lamborghini, 141 points
4. Mercedes-AMG, 133 points
5. Audi, 116 points
6. Ferrari, 60 points

Full results 

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