Published on May 27th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
9 Porsche works drivers contest Nordschleife with the 911 GT3 R
The 24-hour race on the legendary Nordschleife of the Nürburgring is one of the world’s biggest motorsport events. More than 200,000 fans are expected at the 44th running of the Eifel classic on 28/29 May. The factory-supported Manthey Racing team, with its headquarters just a stone’s throw away from the Nürburgring in the village of Meuspath, fields two new Porsche 911 GT3 R. Each of the 500 hp customer-sport racers from Weissach, which is based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car, is driven by a four-man works-driver squad. Manthey Racing has won the race five times through the “Green Hell”, a name that was coined for the Nordschleife.
The Nürburgring 24 Hours is famed for its suspense and thrills. Around the perimeter of the world-renowned, tradition-steeped circuit, fans revel in the unique atmosphere with a giant motorsport party. Germany’s greatest sport event draws its particular flair from the 25.378-kilometre circuit (Grand Prix plus the Nordschleife “northern loop”), as well as the fascinating mix of professional and amateur racers.
Extraordinarily, lining up on the grid this year are 160 vehicles from 18 manufacturers – including 37 different Porsche model lines. Around 600 pilots will share driving duties over the 24 hours.
The Porsche drivers
Eight Porsche works drivers compete for Manthey Racing at the Nürburgring. Sharing the cockpit of the #911 Porsche 911 GT3 R are outright Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Nick Tandy (Great Britain), the defending IMSA GT champion Patrick Pilet (France), as well as his compatriot Kévin Estre. In the sister 911 GT3 R with the starting number 912 are Richard Lietz (Austria), the 2015 winner of the FIA World Endurance Trophy as the best GT pilot, as well as Jörg Bergmeister (Germany), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Frédéric Makowiecki (France). Another works driver, Wolf Henzler (Germany), will contest the marathon for the Falken Motorsports customer squad.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R
The 911 GT3 R celebrated it race debut in January 2016 at the Daytona 24-hour race mounted with the new, ultra-modern, four-litre flat-six DFI engine. The new racer promptly clinched pole position and finished the race second in the GTD class. The first victory came shortly afterwards at the World Challenge in the USA. Porsche designed the 500 hp customer-sport racer for GT3 series around the world based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car. In its development, engineers paid special attention to uncompromising lightweight design, better aerodynamic efficiency and reduced consumption as well as improved handling.