Record winner at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, successful operations team for Porsche Motorsport in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC), reputable supplier of performance kits for road cars: The name Manthey stands for top performance on the racetrack and the road. In 2021, the company based in Meuspath in the Eifel celebrates its 25th anniversary. Here are 25 interesting, spectacular and at times unexpected facts about Manthey-Racing:
3,000 metres between home and hell
Aside from the close sporting and emotional ties between the successful Manthey-Racing squad and the Nürburgring, the team headquarters in the Meuspath industrial estate lies just 3,000 metres as the crow flies from the start-finish line of the legendary racetrack in Germany’s hilly Eifel region.
An idea for the motorsport world
Over the course of his long and illustrious career, Olaf Manthey becomes known around the world – not only for his successes and his distinctive handlebar moustache but also for his innovative ideas. In 1978, at just his third outing as a rookie driver, he surprises his rivals with tyres warmers at the Trier hillclimb event and, much to their astonishment, promptly leaves them in his dust.
At Le Mans with stars and stripes
In 1999, Manthey-Racing claims the GT class victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours with the Porsche 911 GT3 R and drivers Uwe Alzen, Patrick Huisman and Luca Riccitelli. At the same time, the German customer squad also runs an identical car entered by Champion Racing with drivers Müller/Wollek/Mayländer. The American Manthey Porsche finishes second in its class – a “one-two in disguise”.
Super in the Supercup
Manthey-Racing quickly advances in the Porsche Supercup. In its first year, the fledgling squad achieves fourth place. From 1997 to 2000, the team takes home the championship title four times in a row, all with the Dutchman Patrick Huisman at the wheel of the Cup-911. Manthey-Racing not only sets sporting standards. The team’s smart uniforms and upmarket hospitality will soon be copied by all other squads.
April Fools’ Day to begin a wonderful story
On April 1, 2000, Manthey-Racing moves into a brand-new company building in Meuspath. “The new location should enable us to achieve great success over many years,” proclaims Olaf Manthey. Although his announcement is said in fun, it turns out to be prophetic: The success of the company is so great, that by 2006, the space for the thriving team is no longer big enough. It undergoes its first expansion.
The industrious seven
“I stood in the new workshop and thought: I hope this goes well…” says company founder Olaf Manthey as he remembers April 1, 2000 – the day that Manthey-Racing moved into the new facility in Meuspath. The company begins with seven vehicle hoists and three permanent employees. After several expansions, around 200 people now work in the prosperous company.
The beginning of a special relationship
Timo Bernhard is one of the most successful drivers in the history of the Nürburgring 24-hour race. The long-standing works driver and Porsche brand ambassador has won five times at the wheel of Manthey-Racing’s cars. Bernhard’s first outing for the squad from Meuspath was on April 12, 2003: The then 22-year-old promptly won his class at the VLN event in the cockpit of a 911 GT MR Turbo that he shared with Lucas Luhr and Wilhelm Kern.
250 miles to retirement
On October 8, 2005, the company founder Olaf Manthey contests his last event as a professional racer. The Bonn-born driver with the famous moustache joins forces with Timo Bernhard in the 911 GT3 MR at the DMV 250-mile race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and bids his active racing career farewell in fitting style: first place!
Nordschleife heavyweights: Frikadelli and Manthey
The unforgotten Sabine Schmitz and Klaus Abbelen, the founders of Frikadelli-Racing, also compete under the banner of Manthey-Racing as part of their joint racing activities on the Nordschleife. During the 2007 VLN season, the meat producer and his partner notch up notable successes in the endurance racing series at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3.
Victory for the rolling laboratory
May 28, 2011: Marco Holzer, Richard Lietz and Patrick Long push the development test drives of the Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid to the extreme during round four of the VLN. The trio beats all fully-developed GT3 vehicles to clinch a sensational win. To date, this is the first and only victory for a hybrid car on the Nordschleife.
You have mail: a message from Mama Raeder
A new door opens for Raeder Motorsport for the 2010 season. On behalf of Audi, two front-wheel-drive TT cars are to be showcased at the Nordschleife. The project is a huge success: Overall victory in the six-hour race! Olaf Manthey is the first to offer congratulations. Then something unusual happens: Mama Raeder writes to Olaf Manthey, thanking him and saying how much his praise means to her sons. Thanks to her heartfelt words, she builds a strong bond that would eventually lead to the merger of Manthey-Racing and Raeder Motorsport.
For Porsche, the glass is a little more than half full
After the merger of Manthey-Racing and Raeder Motorsport in 2013, Porsche AG acquires a 51 per cent stake in the Meuspath team. Since then, the sports car manufacturer from Stuttgart has been running its World Endurance Championship WEC operations, among others, through its majority stake in Manthey-Racing.
Two cheers for Raeder
Olaf Manthey retires from the day-to-day business of his company in 2015. “I no longer want to travel around the world for motor racing,” he says in the hope of a well-deserved retirement as he hands the reins to Nicolas and Martin Raeder. “These two have impressed me and have shown my wife Renate and me the greatest respect,” Olaf Manthey says of his successors, who now lead the company into the second quarter of a century.
Daytona: Unfinished business
Porsche racing cars in the hands of Manthey-Racing are a force to be reckoned with at 24-hour races. The many victories at the Nürburgring and Le Mans speak for themselves. The big exception is the 24 Hours of Daytona: from the three attempts at the endurance classic in Florida, Manthey-Racing’s cars retired early every time.
The Porsche icon plus one
912 is the highest starting number with which a Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Manthey-Racing has taken up the Nürburgring 24-hour race. At 50 per cent, the 912’s win rate is impressive. In 2016, the “sister of the Grello” retired after 100 laps; in 2018, the car driven by Tandy/Makowiecki/Lietz/Pilet clinched the sixth outright victory for the record-holders from Meuspath.
Six is sexy
Six victories make Manthey-Racing the most successful team at the 24-hour race on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Above all, the streak of four outright wins between 2006 and 2009 is likely to remain a record for eternity. In 2011 and 2018, a Porsche race car campaigned by Manthey-Racing again outpaced the entire competition.
A perfect dance on the world championship stage
In 2013, shortly after the merger with Raeder Motorsport, the team takes responsibility for Porsche Motorsport’s GTE-Pro factory campaign in the World Endurance Championship WEC. In the first season, Manthey-Racing’s two 911 RSR score a one-two result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2018, the team repeats this feat and pockets all world championship titles in the GTE-Pro class at the end of the season.
Well evolved: Nobody is faster
On October 25, 2018, Porsche’s experienced development driver Lars Kern turns at 20.8-kilometre lap of the Nordschleife at the wheel of the 911 GT2 RS MR in 6:40.3 minutes. The 700-hp vehicle – modified by Manthey-Racing and prepared for its mission through the “Green Hell” – is the fastest road-going sports car on the legendary racetrack in the Eifel.
The champions with the number 1
The winner has the honour of competing with the lowest starting number. As reigning champions, Manthey-Racing tackled the Nürburgring 24-hour race five times with the number 1 on its doors: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2019. 2012 was the only exception. After the victory of Lieb/Luhr/Bernhard/Dumas in the previous year’s race, the Manthey-run Porsche 911 GT3 R competed with the numbers 10 and 11.
October 11, 2019: practice for the penultimate round of the VLN: The famous “Grello” fielded by Manthey-Racing crashes into the barriers at the Nordschleife and loses several parts of the body. The marshals at the side of the track collect the distinctive yellow and green parts and place them behind the guardrail for the team to pick up later. When Manthey-Racing goes out to collect the debris, the parts have vanished. Someone was obviously faster. The team appeals to the public with a post on Facebook. The components are crucial for an insurance claim. Lo and behold: a few days later, the bits and pieces reappear. For the team, it is the most successful Facebook post of the year – also in terms of generated traffic.
Leadership modelling: Do as I do
The top management at Manthey-Racing know what they’re talking about: the company founder Olaf Manthey can look back on 30 overall wins in the VLN. Nicolas Raeder contested the VLN nine times for Raeder Motorsport. With his brother Martin, he prepared cars that yielded Raeder Motorsport six outright victories.
Manthey fresh and new: Racing remains at the core
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Manthey-Racing GmbH, the thriving enterprise undergoes a rebranding. While the familiar black, red and white company colours will remain the same, the logo now has new and dynamic look. The Manthey-Racing brand is now simply Manthey – the company, however, continues to remain true to motor racing.
Fifty is just the beginning
Manthey-Racing has notched up a total of 54 overall victories in the NLS (formerly VLN) since the company was founded 25 years ago. This makes the outfit from Meuspath the most successful team by far in the record book of the popular endurance series. Porsche tops the list of the most successful brands with 221 wins (as of May 2021).
Petrol in the veins, diesel on the road
Motor racing runs deep in the veins of the Manthey-Racing crew. This total devotion is evident wherever they compete on the racetracks of the world. But while the employees have petrol in their veins, there is diesel in the street address: Manthey-Racing’s headquarters is on Rudolf-Diesel-Straße in Meuspath.
Where there’s smoke there’s steam
Nürburgring 24-hour race, 2008: Manthey-Racing claims its third straight overall victory and Olaf Manthey’s signature moustache falls victim: it is cut off during the celebrations. However, the race starts with a nail-biting situation. In the opening lap, plumes of smoke rise from the eventual winning car and it quickly returns to the pits. The engineers give the all-clear: it’s only steam. Over the 24 hours, the squad turns a two-lap deficit into a three-lap lead over the hottest pursuers.