Manthey EMA just misses out on Bathurst 12 Hour victory

Meuspath. Manthey EMA was only beaten by SunEnergy1 Racing's Mercedes-AMG in the opening race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. After 323 laps, Matt Campbell crossed the finish line in second place with a gap of just 0.9267 seconds. Mathieu Jaminet and Thomas Preining shared the cockpit of the Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 912 with him.

The race traditionally started before sunrise at 5:45am local time on Sunday, 5th February. Starting driver Thomas Preining went into the race from third on the grid, and defended this position during his stint, handing over to Mathieu Jaminet at the first pit stop. Thanks to a faultless performance by the entire team during each pit stop, the green-yellow 911 GT3 R continuously stayed within striking distance of the front runners and, after five hours of racing, headed the field on the iconic 6.213-kilometre Mount Panorama circuit in the state of New South Wales.

The final phase of the race saw a thrilling battle for the overall victory, in which pit stops, tyres and penalties played an important role. Three cars, among them the green-yellow 911 driven by Matt Campbell, fought for the top spot on the podium until the end. With a record distance over of 2,000 kilometres covered, thanks to minimal safety car and caution periods, the three podium finishers crossed the line separated by less than 1.5-seconds after 12-hours of competition, with the #912 Grello Porsche finishing in 2nd place.

"On the one hand I'm very happy but, on the other hand, I'm a little disappointed that it was only enough for second place. We didn't make a single mistake during the entire race, which was probably one of our best races ever. The drivers, every pit stop and the strategy were perfect and that's why we were able to fight for the win until the end. Even though we were a bit off the overall pace throughout the race, I am very proud of the whole team that finished in second place," explains Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director of Manthey Racing GmbH.

The challenging 12-hour race in Australia was the last race for the 991.2 generation Grello Porsche. Further plans for the 2023 season with the latest generation Porsche 911 GT3 R will be announced by Manthey shortly.

Quotes of the drivers after the race:

Matt Campbell, Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 912:
"In the end, second place was the best we could do. Unfortunately, we just didn't have the overall pace to keep up with the Mercedes. But the team did a phenomenal job, especially in the pits and on strategy, which gained us a lot of time. The guys did a fantastic job all day long, and Mathieu and Thomas didn’t put a foot wrong.”

Mathieu Jaminet, Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 912:
"The end result isn’t what we came for, as the target is always to win, but today we did everything we could. We maximized the strategy and the pit stops, and we didn’t make any mistakes out on track. Matt’s last stint was on the limit, and he was, for me, the driver of the day. It is disappointing to come within 1 second of victory at the line, but to be that close at the end of twelve hours of hard racing, I think is something we can be very proud of. Now we want to come back next year and try and win it!”

Thomas Preining, Porsche 911 GT3 R No. 912:
"I think we can be satisfied overall and know that we drove a perfect race without any mistakes. Our strategy was on point and the pit stops were always perfect, so a big thank you to the whole team for their efforts. We can definitely walk away from this weekend knowing we gave it all on the track. Matt did an incredible stint at the end and we couldn't have done better to fulfil the potential. Of course, we would have loved to take the win, but that was the absolute best result we could have achieved."