After having its winning streak upset by BMW last year, a Porsche 911 once again claimed the top spot at this year’s 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. As the 11th 911 to win Germany’s famed endurance race outright, the Porsche Team Manthey 911 GT3 RSR also made history with its record-setting distance of 156 laps driven within the 24-hour period.
Porsche’s resident hot shoes -- and also two of the drivers of the number one Audi R18 TDI prototype that crashed out earlier this month at Le Mans -- Timo Bernhard and Romain Dumas piloted the 911 GT3 RSR this past weekend, along with fellow works drivers Marc Lieb and Lucas Luhr. Together, the quartet led 108 laps of the race, totaling 16 hours and 35 minutes at the head of the field. At the end of 24 grueling hours, the Manthey GT3 RSR had completed 156 laps and 3958.9 kilometers (2460 miles) -- a record distance for the endurance race. The victory is the fifth for Manthey Racing at the Nürburgring 24 Hours in six years and also marks five wins for Porsche factory driver Timo Bernhard.
“We already knew before the start that we could only win if we worked together as a team, from the drivers through to the mechanics,” said Bernhard. “And this worked very well for the entire time.”
The Manthey GT3 RSR finished ahead of last year’s winner, the BMW M3 GT2, which still managed a second-place finish. The third and final spot on the podium belonged to the Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team Phoenix, which battled with the M3 along with the Mamerow Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 -- which crashed out of the race -- for second place. The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which took home third place in last year’s race, experienced a number of technical issues along with a minor accident on track at the midpoint of the race that led to its disappointing 28th-place finish this year.