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1ST long distance race of the season at the Nurburgring for Porsche

Three successful Porsche premieres

Stuttgart. A successful weekend for Porsche at the season-opener of the Nrburgring Long Distance Championship: At its race premiere, the new Porsche 911 GT3 R claimed victory, the innovative 911 GT3 R Hybrid debuted with sixth place and Walter Rhrl made his much celebrated comeback after 17 years.

Timo Bernhard (Germany), Marc Lieb (Germany) and Marcel Tiemann (Monaco) are the winners of the first race of the season on the Nrburgring-Nordschleife. With the new, 480 hp Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by the Manthey Racing team, the trio drove a trouble-free race. It is extraordinary to climb to the top of the podium at the first race ever of a new race car, said a pleased Bernhard. His works driver teammate Lieb added: It seems the new 911 GT3 R has inherited the reliability of all racing 911. With 14.5 and 3.6 seconds respectively, the three Porsche pilots relegated the best Audi RS and the BMW M3 to finish second and third.

The new Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid also gave a promising debut: Porsche works drivers Joerg Bergmeister (Germany), Richard Lietz and the former Porsche Junior Martin Ragginger (both Austria) brought home the white/orange racer with its combustion engine supplemented by two electric motors delivering 60 kW each to the front axle in sixth place after a trouble-free race. Im positively surprised how well this car performed already at its first race, said Bergmeister. We tried many things out during the race and will be busy further developing the hybrid drive for the 24 hour race in May. Our aim is to use less fuel than our competitors without compromising performance, explains Lietz...
Round 1 : Three successful Porsche premieres


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1,710 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It seems this race was almost an all Audi R8 race until the very end. These very very fast new 2010 R8 LMS race cars had a few technical probs and required more pit time. Audi R8's won the pole position in qualifying, and were leading all but the last two laps of the race. This new 2010 R8 LMS is a much improved race car over last year's R8 model which won 23 GT races last year. But obviously it is still working out some small new kinks. At one time in the race Audi R8's were 1,2,3,& 4!!

Porsches were again the reliable ones and finally did win the race. I'm sure that Porsche is crossing its good luck fingers that Audi will NOT soon fix these problems. The R8's seem to be faster.

Porsche 911 GT3 R wins VLN season opener
By Marcel ten Caat ⋅ March 27, 2010 ⋅ E-mail this post ⋅ Print this post ⋅ Post a comment
VLN - Manthey Racing - Nurburgring - Porsche AG

© Porsche AG

The VLN Langstreckenmeisterschaft Nürburgring had its season opener this weekend with the 57th ADAC Westfalenfahrt. The new season saw teams changing cars and new cars being entered for the first time. After four hours of racing around the Nürburgring Nordschleife it was the new Porsche 911 GT3 R that claimed victory at its race premiere.

At 8.30 the cars were allowed to go out on the track for the first qualifying session of the season. Eventually the #1 Black Falcon Audi R8 LMS secured the pole position, the team using the Audi for the first time. Manthey Racing was second quickest in qualifying with their #114 Porsche 911 GT3 R, while the #99 Phoenix Racing Carsport Audi R8 LMS was third fastest.

Just after 12 o’clock the race was started and it was Johannes Stuck in the #1 Audi R8 LMS who was leading as the cars went into the first corner. His lead only lasted for one lap though as Frank Stippler in the #99 Audi R8 LMS passed Stuck when the cars made their way through turn 1 again. Timo Bernhard in the Porsche 911 GT3 R #114 was still third.

In the following laps Stippler increased his lead to 18 seconds, while behind him the #102 Abt Sportsline Audi R8 of Ekström/Collard had closed the gap to the drivers in front and when the cars came through the Mercedes Arena on the fourth lap the #102 car had moved into second place. At the end of the fourth lap Stück came into the pit for a planned stop, the first of the top drivers to come in.

Frank Stippler did not come in and after seven laps he had a 42.6 seconds lead over Timo Bernhard, with the #102 Audi R8 LMS making a pit stop. One lap later the leading cars came into the box, including the #742 BMW Motorsport BMW M3. The brand new Porsche 911 GT3 R Hybrid (driven by Lietz/Bergmeister/Ragginger) was able to lap one lap later.

After ten laps the top four was an all-Audi affair. The #1 Black Falcon car was leading, ahead of the #102 Abt Audi R8 LMS and the #97 Phoenix Racing Carsport R8 LMS, but Stuck came into the pit for his second planned stop after 11 laps. Sean Paul Breslin took over from the Austrian.

When the Abt Sportsline Gmbh came into the pit for its second pit stop the #99 Audi (Stippler/Basseng/******) was back in the lead, but their day would soon come to an end. At the end of the next lap the car slowly rolled into the pit lane, technical problems meant the car was retired.

The race went on and after 19 laps the Ekström/Collard Audi R8 LMS was leading, ahead of the #97 Rostek/Ludwig/Biela driven Audi R8 LMS and the Porsche 911 GT3 R of Tiemann/Lieb/Bernhard. The #102 car had a 24.4 second lead over the second placed car.

After 21 laps and just over three hours of racing the two leading cars came in for their third and final pit stop of the race. As a result of staying out for another lap the #114 Porsche took the lead. As Rostek and Ekström came out of the box they were third and fourth, the #97 10 seconds ahead of the #102.

The Manthey Racing Porsche #114 came in for its final stop at the end. The #97 Audi R8 LMS closed in rapidly and caught the Porsche coming out of the pit lane at turn 1. Lieb managed to keep his Porsche ahead of the Audi though and with no pit stops to be made anymore the battle for the lead was on. Behind the leading cars the BMW M3 of Farfus was just six tenths of a second behind the third placed Audi of Mattias Ekström.

Unfortunately for the Phoenix Racing team the #97 car stopped at Bergwerk and was retired with a mechanical failure after 25 laps. Lieb crossed the start/finish line, 27.090s ahead of the Ekström Audi and another nine seconds to the #742 BMW M3 of Farfus, which still had to make its final pit stop.

After four hours of racing and 27 laps Marc Lieb crossed the line in first place, taking the first win of the 2010 season for Manthey Racing. Ekström took second place in the #102 Audi R8 LMS at 14.535 seconds with the BMW Motorsport M3 in third place
. | Porsche 911 GT3 R wins VLN season opener

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