Three weeks ago, the opening event of the long-distance series of the Nürburgring could not take place because of heavy snowfall, but at the second race of the season, 145 cars could start under dry conditions.
In qualifying, the yellow-green Porsche 911 GT3 R aka Manthey-Grello with the start number 911 secured the fourth position of the starting places with a lap time of 7:56.780 minutes.
At the end of the first lap, the first driver Kévin Estre was able to take the lead at the end of the Döttinger Höhe. In the leading position, the Frenchman was able to put a distance between himself and the others on the racetrack of the Grand Prix circuit and the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
With his lap time of 7:56.087 minutes, he set a new record. Behind him, there were exciting duels and spectacular overtaking maneuvers that Kévin Estre as the front runner could only watch from his rearview mirror.
After his stint, the Frenchman handed over to Lars Kern, who went back on track with the Grello. On the second place, Lars Kern handed over the wheel to the last driver Michael Christensen.
Michael Christensen drove a double stint and was able to make up ground. Despite a time penalty because he was below the minimum time in the pits, the Dane was the first who crossed the finish line of the NIMEX 45 DMV 4h race as part of the long-distance series of the Nürburgring.
“Starting the Nordschleife season with a victory is a great feeling, especially when you consider that we drove our previous race in August last year with the Grello. That was certainly the longest break from racing on the Nordschleife in our 25-year company’s history,” states Nicolas Raeder, CEO of Manthey-Racing.
“For me, winning the first race is also a very good sign: it proves that we are already well organized and can now concentrate on the details in preparation for the 24-hour race,” continues Nicolas Raeder.
“I’m more than happy about my triumph on the Nordschleife again after such a long time. It was an amazing weekend and apart from a small mistake during the stop in the pits, everything worked out great. In addition, a complete women’s team was in action as an engineering team who looked after our cars for the first time in this constellation. It was an awesome beginning and I’m looking forward to the next races,” reveals race driver Lars Kern.
“Of course, it’s fantastic to win the first race of the year! The car felt very good and the race showed that we are definitely competitive. Even though we had a minor problem during the stop in the pits which led to a stop-and-go penalty, we were able to triumph in the end,” explains the double-stint driver Michael Christensen with a happy tone.
“The first victory of the season after a long time in the NLS is a great result for Manthey, Porsche and the whole team. The car was fast and I had a good feeling, which is very important in preparation for the 24-hour race. There were a few tough moments, but in the end, everything went well and we learned a lot this weekend,” describes Kévin Estre joyfully.
By the way, another Porsche 911 GT3 R, which is also equipped with a KW Competition suspension, crossed the finish line in the second place: we are talking about the Porsche from the Frikadelli Racing Team driven by Frédéric Makowiecki and Dennis Olsen.
Images Manthey-Racing, Frikadelli Racing (1x)