Porsche repeats last year's success
Stuttgart. For the second time in succession the Manthey Racing team won the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring. With a one-lap advantage the Porsche works drivers Timo Bernhard, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb together with Marcel Tiemann beat more than 200 competitors with their new Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. The success at the 35th edition of the long distance classic marks the eighth win for a Porsche in front of 210,000 spectators. Ranking third behind Zakspeed Racing's Dodge Viper came a 911 GT3 RSR run by Land Motorsport.
Right from the start the four Manthey Racing drivers set the pace at the front after starting from pole. Despite the most challenging weather conditions with heat, rain and fog, Bernhard, Dumas, Lieb and Tiemann put in an impeccable drive. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, developed and built in Weissach, also finished its first outing at the Nürburgring 24 hour race without any technical problems.
"With this clear victory the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR again confirmed its potential," said a pleased head of racing Hartmut Kristen. "A huge compliment to the Manthey Racing team who did a great job. The four drivers turned fast laps at exactly the right time and were cautious when the situation warranted it. These are the attributes of an excellent long distance pilot. The Nürburgring means a lot to Porsche. Thanks to all the Porsche teams who once again flew our flag."
Team principal Olaf Manthey could hardly believe his fortune: "First I have to wait a quarter of a century to win what is for me the most important race in the world and now we win for the second consecutive time from pole position. For my wife Renate and I this was a particularly wonderful present - we have our silver wedding anniversary this weekend." On Saturday the pair celebrated 25 years of marriage in the paddock.
The story of the 2007 marathon will go down in history as one of the most unusual races. Due to torrential downpours the Eifel classic had to be delayed by almost two hours and eventually got underway at 16.51 hours. At 3.54 hrs thick fog forced the race management to interrupt the event for about five-and-a-half hours. The restart took place at 9.31 hours.
Timo Bernhard: "To win the Nürburgring 24 hour race twice in a row is a dream come true. In the Long Distance Championship we managed to find a good set-up for the peculiarities of the Nordschleife. The new 911 GT3 RSR ran like clockwork - we had not one problem over the 24 hours."
Romain Dumas: "This is crazy. This is the third time I've raced on the Nordschleife and now I win one of the world's most important races. The track is simply one-of-a-kind. The changeable weather put a lot of pressure on us drivers. Above all, I will never forget my drive in thick fog during the night."
Marc Lieb: "It's simply an indescribable feeling to have won Germany's greatest race. At the 24 hour events in Daytona and Le Mans I secured class victory and an overall win at Spa. The success here on the Nürburgring is very, very special for me."
Marcel Tiemann: "This is the third time I've held the winners' trophy on the podium of this 24 hour race. To win here you need a reliable and fast car and the right partners. Thanks to the entire Manthey squad and to my team mates. We all did a perfect job this weekend."