The fastest Porsche 911 GT3 R takes up the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring on Saturday from the sixth grid row. In the Top 30 Qualifying, which was run on the Nordschleife in individual timed laps under difficult conditions, Frenchman Frédéric Makowiecki posted the twelfth quickest time in his flying lap. For the race, he shares driving duties in the cockpit of the 500 hp 911 GT3 R campaigned by the Manthey Racing works team with Richard Lietz (Austria), Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Jörg Bergmeister (Germany).
In Manthey Racing’s second 911 GT3 R, his teammate and compatriot Kévin Estre left the partially damp track and crashed into the barriers. He will start the race with his teammates, overall Le Mans winner Earl Bamber (New Zealand) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) as well as Patrick Pilet (France), from 29th on the grid. As the best customer team to make it into the Top 30 Qualifying, Frikadelli Racing clinched position 20 with Patrick Huisman from the Netherlands.
After Daytona in January, the Eifel Classic marks the second 24-hour race for the new 911 GT3 R, which Porsche built based on the 911 GT3 RS production sports car for GT3 racing series worldwide. With around 160 cars, over 200 drivers and 220,000 expected fans, the Nürburgring 24-hour race is one of the largest motorsport events in the world.
Comments on the Top 30 Qualifying
Dr Frank-Steffen Walliser, Head of Porsche Motorsport: “This is not exactly what we’d expected. But we’re not about to stick our heads in the sand. We are a good team; we’ll pull together and cope with this setback. The conditions were difficult, but still such a thing shouldn’t happen. Luckily, Kévin is okay. We will repair the car overnight and then perhaps line up on the grid strengthened. Today was just the qualifying, tomorrow is the race.”
Frédéric Makowiecki (911 GT3 R #912): “We faced very tricky conditions. The track was still damp in many places. After Kévin’s accident I tried to be even more careful and not risk too much. Now we have to attack even more in the race. But we have a good car and a very strong team that knows this racetrack intimately. I’m sure we still have every chance.”
Kévin Estre (911 GT3 R #911): “The first section of the track was relatively dry but suddenly the track surface was completely wet. I lost control of the car and went off onto a wet field – from that point on I was just a passenger. I’m really terribly sorry for the team. Nothing happened to me, I’m fine, and I’ll do everything I can in the race to make amends for my mistake.”
Result Top 30 Qualifying
1. Haupt/Buurman/Engel/Müller (D/NL/D/D), Mercedes, 8:14.515 minutes
2. Farfus/Krohn/Müller/Wittmann (BRA/SF/D/D), BMW M6, + 1.631 seconds
3. Alzen/Arnold/Götz/Seyffarth (D/D/D/D), Mercedes, + 3.865
12. Lietz/Bergmeister/Christensen/Makowiecki (A/D/DK/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R,
20. Abbelen/Schmitz/Huisman/Siedler (D/D/NL/A), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 13.465
27. Weiss/Kainz/Krumbach/Stursberg (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, + 32.990
29. Bamber/Tandy/Pilet/Estre (NZ/GB/F/F), Porsche 911 GT3 R, DNF