Stuttgart. The Porsche teams are in a good position for Friday’s final qualifying for the 24 hour race.
With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by Manthey Racing, Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Romain Dumas (France) together with Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) posted sixth place. The quartet won the 24 hour race four times straight from 2006 to 2009.
The seventh quickest time was claimed by Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler (Germany), Peter Dumbreck (Great Britain), Martin Ragginger (Austria) and Sebastian Asch (Germany) in the 911 GT3 R of Falken Motorsport.
Richard Westbrook (Great Britain), Christian Menzel (Germany), Mike Stursberg (Germany) and Hans Guido Riegel (Germany) planted their Haribo Team Manthey 911 GT3 R on the tenth grid spot.
Fielded by Porsche Team Manthey, the further-developed Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid (Version 2.0) with its innovative hybrid drive was not able to match the pace of the fastest vehicles after its performance was capped recently by the organizers.
Moreover, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) had to contend with heavy traffic during his fastest lap and only managed 18th. He shares the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R Hybrid with his factory pilot colleagues Richard Lietz (Austria), Marco Holzer (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA).
The second and final qualifying takes place on Friday from 16.55 to 18.55 hours.
The 24 hour race gets underway on Saturday at 16.00 hours. Television station Sport1 intermittently broadcasts more than 13 hours of the race live on Saturday (from 15.45 hours) and Sunday (from 07.00 hrs). A one-hour highlight program of the race is televised on Sunday at 22.30 hours.
Quotes from the drivers
Marc Lieb (No. 18, Manthey Racing):
“We changed the set-up of our car during the qualifying and turned the fastest lap 40 minutes before the end. Now we’re happy with everything. If it stays dry for tomorrow’s final qualifying session we’ll attack again.”
Joerg Bergmeister (No. 9, Porsche Team Manthey):
“We didn’t really expect to actually do well. We could have been a bit faster but the heavy traffic prevented a better time.”
Wolf Henzler (No. 44, Falken Motorsports):
“We’re satisfied with our set-up. The track conditions were very good with loads of grip. Martin Ragginger went out first and set our best time. Still, we’re more than eight seconds shy of the quickest vehicle.”
Richard Lietz (No. 9, Porsche Team Manthey):
“The lengthy qualifying today was a good chance to familiarize myself with the car and to get a good feeling for driving at the limit. The character of our rolling race lab is somewhat different to the 911 GT3 RSR that I drove in Le Mans two weeks ago.”
(Marco Holzer No. 9, Porsche Team Manthey):
“I got four yellow flags while I was out on the track. It’s not easy to get a free lap. We worked some more on our race set-up and tried to bring the tyres up to the optimal temperature. Driving on the Nordschleife at night is exhausting, you first have to get back the feeling for it.”
Patrick Long (No. 9, Porsche Team Manthey):
“Yesterday I drove in the rain for the first time on the Nordschleife and that is something quite special. Our car is well balanced and I’m very happy about that. Regardless of whether it rains during the race or stays dry, I’m feeling well prepared.”