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Porsche wins the 2011 Nürburgring 24 hour race - results [video]

World’s most successful GT race car in recent years

Marking their fifth victory in the last six years, Porsche Team Manthey has won the 24 hour race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Porsche works drivers Marc Lieb (Germany), Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France) as well as Lucas Luhr (Switzerland) piloted their 911 GT3 RSR to a record distance of 156 laps or 3,958 kilometers (2,460 miles).

It wasn't until 23.25 hours the GT3 RSR took the lead and managed to hang on until the checkered flag (see video).

Also marking his fifth victory Timo Bernhard said, "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."

Last year's winner, BMW Motorsports M3 GT2, took second honors while Audi's R8 LMS was one lap behind in third.

Results Nürburgring 24 hour race

1. Lieb/Bernhard/Dumas/Luhr (D/D/F/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 156 laps
2. Müller/Farfus/Alzen/Lamy (D/BRA/D/P), BMW M3 GT, +4:23.7 seconds
3. Basseng/Fässler/Piccini/Stippler (D/CH/I/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 1 lap
4. Stippler/Hennerici/Haase/Winkelhock (D/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 1
5. Ekström/Scheider/Werner/Abt (S/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 2
6. Heyer/Jäger/Bleekemolen/Seyffarth (D/D/NL/D), Mercedes-Benz SLS, - 3
7. Arnold/Margaritis/Brück/Frankenhout (D/D/D/NL), Mercedes-Benz SLS, - 3
8. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Seefried/Melo (D/MC/D/I), Ferrari F 458, - 4
9. Abbelen/Schmitz/Kentenich/T. Bergmeister (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 4
10. Weiss/Kainz/Jacobs/Krumbach (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 5
28. J. Bergmeister/Lietz/Holzer/Long (D/A/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, - 17
49. Henzler/Ragginger/Dumbreck/Asch (D/A/GB/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 24

Source: Porsche

Nürburgring 24 hour race

Brilliant Porsche triumph on the Nordschleife

Stuttgart. It was one of the most exciting and dramatic 24 hour races at the Nürburgring. And it finished with a triumph for Porsche: 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 and relegated their strong opponents from BMW, Mercedes and Audi to finish down the field.

For Porsche and the Porsche Team Manthey, this marked the fifth victory at the traditional race in the last six years - likewise for Timo Bernhard.

With the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR - the world's most successful GT race car of the last years - the Porsche quartet snatched the lead on Saturday at 23.25 hours and held on to it to the flag. What followed were 16 hours and 35 minutes at the head of the field, 108 consistently fast and faultless laps under immense pressure on one of the toughest race tracks on earth - this speaks volumes about the reliability of the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR and for the skill of the pilots. The new distance record set with a total of 156 laps and 3,958.968 kilometres underlines the superb effort of the winners and their team.

"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. Indeed, aside from the usual tensions on the track, there was just one truly critical situation - strangely enough in the pits. Lucas Luhr: "During a pit stop the petrol pump didn't work. Fuel simply didn't come out. So we had to push our car back to another pump and in doing so lost almost a minute."

The Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid also gave an impressive performance, even though its second start at the 24 hour classic did not yield the anticipated top result. Fielded by Porsche Team Manthey with Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz (Austria), Marco Holzer (Germany) and Patrick Long (USA), the innovative race car with its ground-breaking drive concept finished an impressive 28th after a breathtaking chase through the field, 17 laps behind the winner.

Showing its true potential, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 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 position 105. Clocking lap times which were sometimes faster than those at the front, it ploughed 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.

Manned by Porsche factory pilot Wolf Henzler (Germany) as well as Peter Dumbreck (Great Britain), Martin Ragginger (Austria) and Sebastian Asch (Germany), the Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Falken Motorsports took up the race on intermediate tyres. This proved to be a good decision. Wolf Henzler made up several places before pitting after two laps once the rain had stopped to change to slicks. An engine change in the first quarter of the race robbed the team of all chances for a better result. At the flag, the Falken quartet occupied 49th. The swift lap times that the 911 GT3 R yielded after the long repair phase were, in this case, a poor consolation. "It was somewhat frustrating to drive such great times and yet be so far down the field," said Wolf Henzler. "Still, considering these times, the mood in the team is good. It gives us a lot of motivation. Despite everything, we're taking home a wealth of experience from the Nürburgring."

After a trouble-free early phase under difficult conditions, the Porsche 911 GT3 R, which Manthey Racing ran parallel to the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, was taken out of the race after a good two hours. The team wanted to concentrate on just one car. A perfect strategy that was rewarded with victory. And as Timo Bernhard crossed the finish line with the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, the Eifel at last showed its true sunny colours.

Result Nürburgring 24 hour race

1. Lieb/Bernhard/Dumas/Luhr (D/D/F/CH), Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 156 laps
2. Müller/Farfus/Alzen/Lamy (D/BRA/D/P), BMW M3 GT, +4:23.7 seconds
3. Basseng/Fässler/Piccini/Stippler (D/CH/I/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 1 lap
4. Stippler/Hennerici/Haase/Winkelhock (D/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 1
5. Ekström/Scheider/Werner/Abt (S/D/D/D), Audi R8 LMS, - 2
6. Heyer/Jäger/Bleekemolen/Seyffarth (D/D/NL/D), Mercedes-Benz SLS, - 3
7. Arnold/Margaritis/Brück/Frankenhout (D/D/D/NL), Mercedes-Benz SLS, - 3
8. Farnbacher/Simonsen/Seefried/Melo (D/MC/D/I), Ferrari F 458, - 4
9. Abbelen/Schmitz/Kentenich/T. Bergmeister (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 4
10. Weiss/Kainz/Jacobs/Krumbach (D/D/D/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 5
28. J. Bergmeister/Lietz/Holzer/Long (D/A/D/USA), Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid, - 17
49. Henzler/Ragginger/Dumbreck/Asch (D/A/GB/D), Porsche 911 GT3 R, - 24

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Comments (14)

GTurbo
Surprise! x2 No wonder Porsche was earmarked to take Audi's 'Sporting Brand' position within VAG. Teutonic endurance with soul. Congratulations Porsche for reclaiming the 'Ring Crown from The Ultimate Driving Machine!
Jun 29, 2011 9:21 am
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eddie
I have had many cars in the past and I enjoy the 911 the most. It is reliable, fun to drive and the dealerships are small, friendly and more personable.
Jun 27, 2011 8:05 pm
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catchmyshadow
911s wouldn`t sell for that price if they wouldn`t be something really special about them. it´s the combination of soul and sophistication that makes Porsche second to none!
Jun 28, 2011 11:17 am
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catchmyshadow
24h are simply great, F1 bores the sh1t out of me, even with countryman Vettel at the top. 24h events always feel like one big family, with cars that are relevant for the cars we drive! P.S. duck tape has become the most popular item during the race: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-pmwDsMeDVg4/Tgj39QzMdUI/AAAAAAAABkY/YHzqZLXq210/s720/n%2525C3%2525BCrburgring%252520341.JPG
Jun 27, 2011 7:48 pm
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Microice
Starting to love endurance races, it's no joke to run these cars all out for so long. Congrats to Porsche!
Jun 27, 2011 7:36 pm
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catchmyshadow
Manthey always does an incredible job. fantastic team and their 911 RSR once more was too good. reliable as hell and more efficient than the rest of the field. btw, the top 4 cars broke the record of 154 laps. amazing contest!
Jun 27, 2011 7:12 pm
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BMW-M
Great race if the number 1 BMW didn't have the small accident in the beginning of the race. It would have been a repeat of last year..
Jun 27, 2011 8:01 pm
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catchmyshadow
ahh, no no, it`s not that easy BMW-M. u could also say that the farnbacher 458, which was the fastest car in the qualifying, would have won if it wouldn`t have had a broken rear suspension in the 1st half of the race. you could also say that BMW was lucky last year because the GT3-R was leading the race in 2010 comfortably for 22 hours before having a problem and 2 R8s were faster but had crashes. in the end: who wins wins. last year BMW: well deserved, this year: Porsche well deserved as well. if, when, but doesn`t count, a win is a win.
Jun 27, 2011 8:13 pm
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BMW-M
"it was a very close race. one little mistake and it could have been a totally different outcome." Contradict your self much? How is this quote from you on the other thread any different from what I said??
Jun 27, 2011 9:37 pm
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catchmyshadow
well, the difference is u said: "it would", meaning that BMW (without the accident) would have had the win definitely in the bag again. i said "it could", meaning that one little mistake less or more by BMW, Porsche, Ferrari, Audi or MB and the outcome could have been totally different.
Jun 28, 2011 8:16 am
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BMW-M
ahh, no no, it`s not that easy catchmyshadow, would and could are interchangable.
Jun 28, 2011 8:37 am
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catchmyshadow
haha english lesson? interchangeable yes, but only in a question, not in a statement. could - capable of doing sth. would - will(ing to) do sth.
Jun 28, 2011 9:12 am
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BMW-M
Yes, BMW was willing to win. They were the only car on the same lap as the winning car, despite an accident earlier in the race, without the accident it’s easy to think they would have been a head of the Porsche..I know it all hypothetical but it COULD have been much different. Congrates to Porsche though.
Jun 28, 2011 10:02 am
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catchmyshadow
let´s say last year BMW was luckier, this year Porsche. :D
Jun 28, 2011 10:42 am
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