Manthey earns first 2017 win
Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R of Romain Dumas, Fred Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet secured the victory in opener round of the VLN series at the Nordschleife. Starting from the pole position, after Pilet set the quickest time in the qualifying, the all French crew took the lead when Falken driver Laurens Vanthoor crashed in the penultimate lap. As consequence of it, the Belgian’s Porsche had to retire. Vanthoor admitted he had to push very hard after having lost time in some Code 60 section. At that time Pilet was just two seconds behind.
The Manthey Racing advantage at the finish line ahead of the second placed ABT Bentley Continental GT3 of Chris Bück, Jöns Christer and Jordan Pepper was 1:08.751. The Audi Sport Team’s R8 LMS shared by Connor De Phillippi, Chris Mies and Markus Winkelhock earned the third place.
Behind the top three, the two Audis of Team WRT finished fourth and fifth. The sister car of Phoenix Racing became sixth, ahead of the fastest Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Black Falcon with Hubert Haupt, Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Daniel Juncadella and Luca Stolz.
The first winners in the new TCR class were Andreas Gülden and Benjamin Leuchter in the Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR.
A total of 188 cars of 24 different manufacturers were at start. 466 drivers with 27 different nationalities, as well as 33 GT3 machines entered the race.