NLS 2021, 7th round: 55th victory for Manthey

The Grello Porsche and the BMW Junior Team fought a heated duel for victory in the 6-hour race of the Nürburgring Endurance Series, which ended in Manthey's favour.

The ROWE 6-hour ADAC Ruhr Cup race is the season highlight of the Nürburgring Endurance Series. And just like at the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, Manthey Racing's "Grello" once again had the edge when it came down to it. After 40 laps, Michael Christensen and Kévin Estre secured overall victory in the Porsche 911 GT3 R. Lars Kern, who was also originally entered in the 911, had to sit out due to back problems.

Estre off to a good start

Estre laid the foundation for victory right at the start. He catapulted himself into second position and later held the lead for most of the race. "I caught the first corner well and pulled to the left," said Estre. "It was important to start the race so far up the field."

In fact, after a turbulent initial phase, the seats seemed to be carved in stone for the remaining hours. Many Code 60 phases determined the racing action. Only the Junior Team's BMW M6 GT3 (Neil Verhagen/Dan Harper/Max Hesse) was real competition for the Porsche drivers for victory, but ultimately crossed the finish line 19.615 seconds behind.

10 years after the Audi TT RS victory

Even the tactical split at the penultimate stop made no difference when Manthey came to service one lap earlier. Especially since the youngster lost more than 10 seconds in a code 60 phase in the last hour of the race. "I got stuck behind a car that wasn't going the maximum speed allowed," said Verhagen. "But even without this incident, it probably wouldn't have been enough to catch up with the Porsche."

It's a special win for Manthey. It is not only the 55th success in the Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS/VLN), but also an anniversary after the spectacular overall victory with the Audi TT RS exactly ten years ago with Frank Biela, Christian Hohe Nadel and Michael Ammermüller. It is also the 222nd victory for Porsche in the mass sports series.

Falcons on the podium

The brand colleagues completed the podium. The Falken-Porsche of Alessio Picariello and Martin Ragginger, which started from pole, struggled with too little grip in the first stint, but was able to fight back thanks to setup adjustments during the race. The sister car (Tobias Müller/Dennis Olsen) also achieved a good result with fourth place. "We can be very happy with pole and 3rd place," said Picariello, who took his first Nordschleife pole. "It was already a difficult race with a lot of Code 60 phases," added Ragginger.

In fact, the first one was already waiting after the first lap and brought some excitement into the field.Because a car had said goodbye on the formation lap at the Döttingerhöhe, chaos ensued after the first lap had almost been completed. Among other things, there was contact between David Pittard's Walkenhorst BMW and the Manthey Porsche. Pittard then came into the pits with a puncture on the right rear tyre.

Phoenix with heavy damage

Frank Stippler also got it after two and a half hours with the Audi R8 LMS from Phoenix Racing on the Döttingerhöhe. Another vehicle had crashed into his rear behind a tow. Then the Audi crashed into the crash barrier and the race was over.

The race for the Dinamic-Porsche, which finished 5th, wasn't entirely flawless either. A drive-through penalty cost valuable time. However, the Italian team is in its first Nordschleife season anyway and is primarily concentrating on developing the Pirelli tires. The best Mercedes was the HRT-Bilstein AMG GT3 in 8th position. The second Walkenhorst-BMW and the Lionspeed-Audi pushed in between. The top ten is completed by the Frikadelli Porsche and a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup MR.

Debut of the BMW M4 GT3 with a lack of fuel

The new BMW M4 GT3 actually finished 11th on its debut in the SP-X class. This time, the Bavarians' new GT3 racer rolled through without any problems, but stalled at the pit exit on the last lap because it ran out of fuel. This was apparently planned to explore the limit of the tank. But that dropped you out of the standings because you didn't finish the race.

The Konrad Lamborghini already had to give up on Friday. After an accident caused by contact with a smaller vehicle in the Kesselchen section of the route, the Huracan could no longer be repaired.

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