Manthey-Racing wins 2021 N24 in company’s anniversary year

Manthey-Racing wins 2021 N24 in company’s anniversary year

At the end of another disrupted day of racing at the Nordschleife, Manthey-Racing clinched its seventh outright victory at the ADAC TOTAL 24 Hours of Nürburgring. 2021’s event, which concluded not long before we went to print with this issue of 911 & Porsche World, was the forty-ninth edition of the endurance classic, with works drivers, Kévin Estre, Michael Christensen and Matteo Cairoli crossing the finish line in first place at the wheel of the 991 GT3 R known as ‘Grello’ (because, er, it’s green and yellow), which carried race number 911.

This triumph rounds off Manthey-Racing’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations, hot on the heels of the company being fifty-one percent acquired by Porsche. It also marked Manthey- Racing as the most successful team at N24, winning what’s widely regarded as the world’s toughest race no fewer than seven times. It was also the thirteenth time a Porsche has crossed the N24 finish line in first place. Meanwhile, the Huber Motorsport customer squad achieved an emphatic win in the Pro-Am class with the 991 GT3 R, but bad weather saw the race redflagged for more than fourteen hours, the action halted before nightfall on the Saturday evening. Consequently, total driving time was reduced to around nine and a half hours.

“Congratulations to the Manthey-Racing team. The crew did a flawless job and the drivers gave a terrific show at the wheel of the 911 GT3 R,” said a delighted Fritz Enzinger, Vice President of Porsche Motorsport. “I’m also particularly pleased about Huber Motorsport’s Pro-Am class win. Our customer teams can be very proud of their achievements.” Unfortunately, strong performance was not always rewarded accordingly — numerous cars had to retire after becoming entangled in accidents experienced (or caused ) by participants in other classes.

The Falken Motorsport team’s no.44 991 GT3 R battled for a podium spot to the very last lap, but narrowly missed out, finishing fourth. Nonetheless, considering the challenges faced, including stiff competition from the Manthey- Racing team, it was an amazing result, achieved by star drivers, Sven Müller, Martin Ragginger, Klaus Bachler and Alessio Picariello. Falken’s no.33 sister car achieved a ninth place finish.

Eighth went to the 991 GT 3 R fielded by Huber Motorsport, with the German drivers Stefan Aust, Philipp Neuffer, Nico Menzel and Marco Seefried at the controls. Under team boss, Reinhard Huber, the car remained in the top ten over the entire distance of the race and even spent some laps in the lead, meaning in the Pro-Am class, Huber Motorsport was the unchallenged victor. Porsche’s other customer teams experienced less luck — the 911s campaigned by Frikadelli Racing (carrying the name of the late Sabine Schmitz), KCMG and Rutronik Racing were fast over long distances, but were all involved in accidents.

As a result of torrential rain and heavy fog, and in terms of both laps and run time, the race was the shortest-ever N24, with ‘Grello’ only completing fifty-nine laps in less than ten hours of green- and yellow-flag running. As ever, a large number of different classes of car were involved in the action, varying in speed from GT3 sport cars to a Dacia Logan and the fan favourite ‘Foxtail’ Opel Manta. Despite the challenging conditions, of the 121 cars that started the race, ninety-nine finished. 2022’s N24 promises to be spectacular. We’re looking forward to it already!

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