In front of 220,000 spectators lining the legendary Nordschleife, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) as well as Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) won the 39th running of the long distance classic in the Eifel with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR. With the win, the team set a new distance record of 156 laps and 3,958.968 kilometers. (Pictures and full race results at the bottom of this post. If you are viewing this page via email it's a lot easier to view the pictures directly on our site by visiting Pictures and Results of Porsche's Participation in the 39th Nurburgring 24 Hour Race).
“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. And this worked very well for the entire time,” Timo Bernhard said.
The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid
Showing its true potential, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid (fielded by Porsche Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria), Marco Holzer (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA)) moved into the lead on Saturday about four hours after the start. But a broken flange in the differential sent it into the pits for repairs, which cost six laps to the leader. But the trouble wasn’t to stop there: After a good seven hours, the same problem struck again necessitating a second unplanned pit stop. This time repairs took 40 minutes. With a ten-lap gap to the front-runners, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid rejoined the race in 105th position.
“After the flange broke we were out of the top 100 contenders but worked our way up to 28th. For me, not giving up fits in with the Porsche philosophy. I wholeheartedly congratulate our colleagues in the 911 GT3 RSR. Reliability and faultless driving was the key,” said Patrick Long (No. 9, Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, Porsche Team Manthey)
Clocking lap times which were sometimes faster than those at the front, it plowed through the field to rank 23rd. However, on Sunday morning the vehicle’s charge was interrupted yet again: While lapping a slower competitor, Patrick Long was nudged and spun at high speed in the Flugplatz passage. In the pits, however, no damages to the vehicle were found. After a breathtaking chase through the field, the hybrid racing Porsche finished an impressive 28th, 17 laps behind the winner.
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[Sources: Porsche AG]