Manthey wins 2022 NLS season opener after an exciting comeback
Meuspath. Manthey has won the first race of the season in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS). After 29 laps, final driver Frédéric Makowiecki was the first to cross the finish line in the number 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R. The driver line-up of the winning car at the 67th ADAC Westfalenfahrt was completed by Michael Christensen from Denmark and Laurens Vanthoor from Belgium.
Qualifying began on Saturday morning in cold but dry and sunny conditions. On the 24.358 kilometre combination of Nordschleife and short Grand Prix circuit loop, Frédéric Makowiecki set a lap time of 7:56.957 minutes. However, due to bad luck with incidents on track, the team did not finish beyond 15th place.
At the first pit stop, starting driver Frédéric Makowiecki handed over the car to Michael Christensen, who was able to bring the Manthey Porsche up to P3. This pit stop was made one lap earlier to take advantage of the time loss due to yellow and Code 60 phases on the Nordschleife. This strategic decision allowed the Manthey team to make up almost twenty seconds. The second half of the race provided the spectators with a thrilling duel for the lead. At first, Laurens Vanthoor took the wheel and was able to fight for first place. With a perfect final pitstop the yellow and green nine-eleven was sent into the final hour of the race in first place. Final driver Frédéric Makowiecki successfully defended the lead to the finish line.
For the 24-hour race, Kévin Estre is also part of the Manthey line-up. The Frenchman will compete in NLS 2 on 09 April 2022 together with Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor.
Frédéric Makowiecki, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
"It feels good to drive the Grello again - I missed it. Overall, we had a solid race without mistakes and were thus able to make up for qualifying, in which we had some bad luck with traffic."
Michael Christensen, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
"Starting the race from 15th place is obviously not easy but the team did a great job and pit us at the right time. Unlike other teams, we were able to avoid some code 60 and full course yellows and made up a lot of places as a result."
Laurens Vanthoor, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
"The race went well. We had a close battle with the Audi but in the end we were better and won - that's good for the morale and the whole team."
Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director Manthey-Racing GmbH:
"The race was a good preparation for the 24-hour race. The car is running well, but of course we have to see how the other cars develop. At the 24-hour race, luck is always part of it, but we have a great driver combination and a well-functioning team."