At the 37th edition of the Nürburgring 24 hour race on 23/24 May, Porsche is again one of the most popular manufacturers for the competitors. A total of 29 Porsche vehicles are expected to compete at Germany’s largest motorsport event.
Taking up the race as title defenders with starting number 1 are Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) as well as Manthey pilot Marcel Tiemann (Monaco). They drive a 480 hp Porsche 911 GT3 RSR run by Manthey Racing. In 2008, the squad under team boss Olaf Manthey secured a hat-trick by winning the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the third straight time. Timo Bernhard is not planning to leave it at that: “It would be a dream to win four times in succession. But, changes to the technical regulations have braked in our 911 GT3 RSR considerably. Particularly on the uphill sections, the straights and when lapping cars, you notice a substantial power loss compared to last year. It won’t be easy to match the pace of some of the much more powerful opponents.”
Another three Porsche factory drivers man the second Manthey Racing vehicle, a 445 hp Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S. Emmanuel Collard (France), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Wolf Henzler (Germany) share the cockpit of the #2 car with professional racer Dirk Werner (Germany). “While Emmanuel and Dirk have already gained a lot of experience on the Nordschleife, Richard and I are newcomers to this fantastic circuit. We’ve only contested one race in the Long Distance Championship,” explains Wolf Henzler. “Still, apart from the length of the track, some of the Nordschleife corners resemble several circuits in the American Le Mans Series. I’m confident that I will quickly become familiar with the special features of the ‘Ring.”
Both Porsche juniors, Marco Holzer (Germany) and Martin Ragginger (Austria) again contest the marathon with two Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 cars. In the #4 vehicle, Holzer is joined by Frank Kräling, Marc Gindorf and Peter Scharmach. Ragginger supports Georg Weiss, Peter-Paul Pietsch and Michael Jacobs in the #5 car.
“You can see just how popular this race is amongst our drivers by the fact that six Porsche works drivers and both Porsche juniors are competing. But it also underlines how important this great motorsport event is for Porsche,” says Hartmut Kristen, Head of Porsche Motorsport. “The competition in the fight for overall victory is stronger than ever before this year. I hope that the trump card for our customer teams is again the renowned reliability of the Porsche 911 GT3.”
The 37th edition of the Nürburgring 24 hour race takes off on 23 May at 16.00 hrs. The flag drops on 24th May at 16.00 hours.