Manthey EMA claims first ever Bathurst 12 Hours victory

  • Manthey EMA celebrates two maiden Bathurst 12 Hours wins
  • Car number 912 steered by Matt Campbell, Ayhancan Güven and Laurens Vanthoor crosses the line as overall winner
  • Harry King, Alessio Picariello and Yasser Shahin celebrate in the Pro-AM class in the number 911 Porsche from The Bend Manthey EMA

Meuspath. Manthey EMA wins both the overall and Pro-AM title for the first time on the Mount Panorama Circuit. The Grello Porsche with starting number 912 driven by Matt Campbell (Australia), Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) wins the 12-hour marathon at Bathurst by 2.6 seconds after a gruelling race. Harry King (Great Britain), Alessio Picariello (Belgium) and Yasser Shahin (Australia) secured victory in the Pro-AM class by finishing ninth overall.

The two Porsche 911 GT3 R numbers 911 and 912 made their first appearance at Australia's Mount Panorama Circuit on Friday morning. After a total of six free practice sessions, two of which were reserved exclusively for the bronze drivers of the field, qualifying was on the agenda for both cars on Saturday afternoon. With tenth place for The Bend Manthey EMA's car and sixth for the Grello Porsche, both cars qualified for the Top Ten Shootout. Matt Campbell put the 912 in fourth place with a lap time of 2:02.4259 minutes, securing a place on the second row of the grid for the 12-hour race. Alessio Picariello completed the 6.213-kilometre circuit in 2:03.0795 minutes to claim pole position in the Pro-AM class as ninth on the grid.

The 12 Hours of Bathurst traditionally started at 5.45am local time before sunrise. Starting drivers Harry King (#911) and Laurens Vanthoor (#912) successfully defended their positions in the early stages of the race as daylight began to fall on the Mount Panorama Circuit. Both cars made their first pit stops just before the clocks at Bathurst showed 7:00 local time. The team's pit stop strategy allowed Ayhancan Güven, now at the wheel of the 912, to set the first lead kilometres before the two-hour mark of the race. As the two top-placed Porsche 911 GT3 R collected race laps, the safety car and yellow flag periods that characterised the endurance race brought the field closer and closer together. At the end of the first third of the race, the Bend Manthey EMA Porsche was forced off the track by contact through no fault of its own. This dropped the 911 piloted by Yasser Shahin to the back of the Pro-AM field.

Shortly after the halfway point of the race, the Grello Porsche, which had been leading up to that point, was also forced to relinquish its position due to a drive-through penalty for a pit stop infringement. Even more than the first half of the race, the second half was characterised by a series of safety car periods due to the onset of rain, which repeatedly affected the course of the race. In these conditions, the drivers of the two Manthey EMA cars worked their way back up the highly competitive field. In combination with the team's pit stop strategy and the flawless execution of these pit stops, the team managed to regain both lead positions an hour before the chequered flag fell. These were defended by the final drivers, Matt Campbell and Alessio Picariello, until the end of the final lap. After 275 laps, car number 912 crossed the finish line 2.6 seconds ahead of the runner-up, clinching a debut victory for Manthey EMA and the second overall win for Porsche in the history of the endurance race. With ninth place overall on the top of the Pro-AM podium, the sister car with starting number 911 completed the team's twofold victory.

"This was a really exciting race. I'm very proud of the whole team. Although both the 911 and the 912 suffered setbacks during the race, in the end we were able to secure both the overall victory and the Pro-AM class win. One of the deciding factors was the fastest pit stop of the race by our crew, which put us back in the overall lead. All six drivers did a really excellent job and were able to prove themselves, even though it was the first race on the Mount Panorama circuit for some of them. After ending the last season on a high with the DTM at Hockenheim, I am delighted that the 2024 season has also started so successfully for us," concludes Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director of Manthey Racing GmbH.

Quotes on the 2024 Bathurst 12 Hour:

Matt Campbell, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912:
„I am super excited and happy. Winning the 12 Hours of Bathurst - obviously a great start to the year. What a race. I mean, we had fantastic speed all day, in all conditions. The team did a fantastic job. We obviously made a little mistake in the middle of the race, but we came back really quickly and the whole team did a phenomenal job after that, especially at the pit stops. Laurens and Ayhancan both did a phenomenal job. But especially Ayhancan, it was his first time here and he was really mistake-free - hats off to him because he did a fantastic job.”

Ayhancan Güven, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912:
“The Bathurst 12 Hour. We finished the race with a win. It was my first race with Manthey EMA and my first time at the Mount Panorama Circuit. So I certainly felt a bit of pressure going into the weekend, driving next to Matt and Laurens in the Grello. But we made sure we were well prepared. Right from the start of the race we were strong. Laurens did a really strong first stint and then I was in the lead after the driver change. We were really good for the first six hours of the race, but then we dropped quite a few positions due to an unfortunate penalty. But the crew managed to make the fastest pit stop of the race, which allowed us to regain the lead. And from that moment we started to control the race again. It was a bit stressful for me driving here in the rain, but everything went well and it was great to see Matt drive the last stint. I'm super proud and thankful for my fellow drivers and the Manthey EMA team. Everyone did a perfect job. I will never forget this Bathurst debut.”

Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche 911 GT3 R #912:
„It was a great race. I really wanted to come back to Bathurst. Preferably with Manthey EMA and Porsche, of course, to have the best chance of winning. And that's how it turned out in the end. We were very strong right from the start and dominated the race for most of the time. Apart from one penalty, we drove faultlessly and were able to win the race. Personally, I've been trying to win here for a long time, but I've always just missed out on victory at Bathurst. This was one of the big races that was missing from my personal bucket list, so I'm very happy!”

Harry King, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
„A very rollercoaster 12 hours. The emotions started on a high, went to a low and ended on an even greater high. My first stint in In the dark at night was quite an experience and I really enjoyed it. My stints have been pretty strong from my side, so I'm really pleased with that. It was a shame that a contact with another car put us in the gravel, but I think the comeback makes it all the sweeter in the end. Overall, we're very happy.“

Alessio Picariello, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
“It was a really eventful race. From being in control of the Pro-Am category, to getting stuck in the gravel, to being in the lead of the class then leading the overall, to being in the back again. But the team always made the right decisions, and we didn't give up, even though the car was slightly damaged and difficult to drive. So, we managed to come back and, in the end, it makes the win feel even better. I am really happy to have been part of this and enjoyed the weekend here. It was my first time at Bathurst and also working with Manthey EMA and it was really fun.”

Yasser Shahin, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
“Today was all about the highs and lows of motorsport. And I don't think anyone has ever been beached in the gravel and come back to win a race. We fought so hard all day. I think all the drivers did a great job because the car was compromised and the conditions were very tricky but we kept it together and stayed positive. And it is also important to recognise that the engineers made the right calls throughout the day. It is great to be part of this team.”

Patrick Arkenau, Division Manager Racing, Manthey Racing GmbH:
"We are overwhelmed by this result. Of course, when you enter two cars in different classes, you want to win both. But at the end of the day it is an incredible result that we are very proud of and that is the reward for our hard work and a very good team performance. Unfortunately, we also had a few situations with both cars that set us back a bit - partly through our own fault and partly through no fault of our own. However, we never let our heads drop and always focused on how to make the best of the situation. In the end, we put ourselves in a position to fight for victory. Both final drivers did an excellent job and took the wins in their classes. This is a great achievement for us - it's the third time we've tried to win the 12 Hours and it finally worked out.”