Posted by: porschebahn | June 26, 2011

24-Hour Race Nürburgring – Interim Report to 19:30 hours

Porsche 911 GT3 RSR runs and runs and runs

Stuttgart. The Porsche 911 GT3 RSR with the starting number 18 is well prepared for the final spurt of an enthralling Nürburgring 24 hour race. With consistently quick lap times and thanks to the reliability of their 911, the Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) together with Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) have established a good position for the final phase of the long distance classic in the Eifel. With four and a half hours to go to the flag, they sit at the lead with a 4:44.6-minute advantage. The fight at the top, however, remains tense: Trailing the front-runner are three vehicles from three different manufacturers all capable of winning.

The chase through the field of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid – which had to pit twice on Saturday evening with problems and lost over an hour – was interrupted shortly after ten o’clock due to an incident in the Flugplatz section. While attempting to lap a slower competitor, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA), who shares driving duties in the innovative race car from Weissach with his factory pilot colleagues Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria) and Marco Holzer (Germany), was nudged and spun at high speed. In the pits no damages to the vehicle were identified and the 911 GT3 R Hybrid, which had moved up through the field to rank 23rd, rejoined the race in position 31.

Still amongst the top ten are the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Porsche customer teams Haribo Team Manthey (8th), Wochenspiegel Team Manthey (9th) and Frikaldelli Racing Team (10th).

Quotes from the drivers

Marc Lieb (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing): “Our RSR is running like the proverbial clockwork. It’s got a little understeer under the current track conditions which in an endurance race doesn’t make it easy driving at the limit.”

Timo Bernhard (No. 18, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, Manthey Racing): “We knew even before the start that we could only run at the front if we all worked together as a team, from the drivers to the mechanics. By now, we’ve all managed this very well.”

Patrick Long (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey): “After the Flugplatz, I wanted to pass a slower competitor and had almost managed it when he pulled to the right and hit my left rear wheel. At this point of the track we drive in sixth gear – and my spin reflected this. Our goal is unchanged, we want to finish. And I’m sure we’ll manage this.”

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