Manthey wins the Nürburgring 24 Hours for the seventh time
Meuspath. Manthey triumphed in this year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. Matteo Cairoli (Italy), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Kévin Estre (France) were the victorious drivers in the Porsche 911 GT3 R with the start number 911. After 59 laps, the final driver Estre was the first to pass the chequered flag and with a seventh victory added the perfect finishing touch to the company’s 25th anniversary. Manthey was able to build on its record as the most successful team in the 24-hour race, following its wins from 2006 to 2009, in 2011 and in 2018.
The 49th staging of the endurance race began on Saturday afternoon in challenging conditions. As the rain started falling, the first driver Estre fought his way up from eleventh to first place in only four laps on what was in places a very wet track. During their stints behind the wheel, Christensen and Cairoli maintained the team’s position in the leading group. After six hours, the race was brought to a halt at 9.30 in the evening because of dense fog and did not begin again until more than 14 hours later at 11.40 on the Sunday morning.
When the race restarted, Kévin Estre was once again in the cockpit of the yellow and green Manthey 911. The French driver quickly made his way to the head of the field and handed the car back to Christensen in first place. For the remainder of the race, the winning team in the FIA-WEC world championship 2018/2019 maintained its leading position with consistently fast lap times. A perfect pit stop strategy and an impressive performance from the pit crew also helped to ensure that the Manthey 911 crossed the finishing line first with a lead of 8.817 seconds. Alongside Estre, Christensen and Cairoli, Lars Kern was also part of the Manthey team, but the experienced Porsche development driver was unable to take part in the race because of illness.
Nicolas Raeder, managing director of Manthey-Racing GmbH:
“I’m very proud that we were overall winners on our 25th anniversary. It was a very short but extremely intense race and, after a year with no racing at all, it was an even more nerve-racking experience than in previous years. The entire team produced a perfect performance and our seventh victory was only made possible by their uncompromising dedication and attention to detail. The fact that Lars couldn’t be there at the finish was a disappointment to all of us.”
Matteo Cairoli, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
“This has been the best day of my life so far. Winning the toughest 24-hour race in the world is simply unbelievable. It wasn’t an easy race. There were a lot of accidents and Code 60 phases before it was finally stopped. But we won the race and we just want to enjoy this moment.”
Michael Christensen, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
“I've wanted to win the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring for a long time and today my dream has come true. After 2019, we've come back here and we’ve actually done it. I’m over the moon to have won with Manthey.”
Kévin Estre, Porsche 911 GT3 R #911:
“It’s unbelievable - I just don’t know what to say. It was a very difficult race and the competition was really tough. We had to give one hundred percent on every lap and that’s a big challenge on the Nordschleife. Winning this race was one of my major goals. I’m very proud of the entire team and my fellow drivers. They all did an unbelievable job.”