Without the public's favourite, the 911 GT3 R "Grello", and with a severely decimated Porsche factory driver team, the forecast for the 24-hour race in the Eifel this year was anything but ideal. As a precautionary safety measure, Porsche did not send any racing drivers to the Eifel who had been active in Le Mans the weekend before. The reason for this was several positive corona test results from the team’s environment. Accordingly, preparations for the race through the Green Hell were hectic and unplanned. Together with the customer teams, Porsche quickly recruited experienced drivers such as Timo Bernhard and Jörg Bergmeister. Nevertheless, the Grello, fan favourite and title contender of Manthey Racing, had to be withdrawn from the starting field.
24 hours through the Eifel. Massive rain and the red flag characterised the endurance racing classic.
The dream of overall victory lies in the qualifying.
With 12 overall victories on their books, the Porsche customer teams set off for the 48th edition of the endurance classic in the Eifel. After a mixed performance in training, Porsche still managed to get all seven 911 GT3 R models into the top qualifying session, which was limited to 30 cars. In the first section of the two-part final training session, Dennis Olsen drove to second place for KCMG in the individual time trial. Despite the onset of rain and the resulting difficult track conditions, Olsen used his first of two laps and missed out on a first place in the qualifying by just under a quarter of a second. The Norwegian thus moved into the second qualifying segment. However, due to technical issues, he had to park his race car, which he shared with Timo Bernhard, Jörg Bergmeister and Earl Bamber, already in the warm-up lap.
The starting number 30 of Frikadelli Racing qualified as the best-placed 911 GT3 R on starting position 14. Besides qualifying driver, Alex Müller, the car was driven by team owner Klaus Abbelen and Robert Renauer as well as and Norbert Siedler.
Torrential rain interrupts the race.
After just over seven hours of racing action on the Nürburgring, the stewards waved the red flag. Race interruption in the Eifel. Due to the ever-increasing rain, this decision was totally understandable. Up to this point, the Porsche customer teams had used the challenging weather conditions to their advantage. Despite numerous incidents on the track, all seven 911 GT3 R cars were still running on the race track. However, at around 23:15 hrs, the endurance classic had to be interrupted. Better weather was a long time in coming: the race could only be continued around 8 AM on Sunday.
No racing luck for the Porsche teams.
But after the resumption, the Porsche teams were not blessed with the required racing luck. As in Le Mans last weekend, Porsche did not manage to celebrate a podium in the highest racing class. Best placed Porsche 911 GT3 R became number 31 of the Frikadelli Racing Team in place 7, followed by the two race cars of FALKEN Motorsports in positions 10 and 11. The KCMG team also of achieved a great result with 13th place. In 15th place, the Huber Motorsport Team with the drivers Menzel, Holzer, Kolb and Rocco di Torrepadula crossed the finish line. For Huber Motorsport this also meant class victory in the SP-9-Pro-Am class.
Of course, one could question how it would have looked like if the fan favourite "Grello" had been at the start - but that doesn't change the final result of the 48th edition of the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. However, one thing's for sure: Porsche and its customer teams will do everything they can to return to the Eifel even more strongly next year and battle for overall victory.
The results of the Porsche race cars.
SP-9 (FIA-GT3) CLASS
P 7: FRIKADELLI RACING
P 10: FALKEN MOTORSPORTS
P 11: FALKEN MOTORSPORTS
P 13: KCMG
P 15: HUBER MOTORSPORT (WINNER SP-9 PRO-AM CLASS)
DNC: FRIKADELLI RACING
P 1: BLACK FALCON TEAM IDENTICA
P 1: HUBER MOTORSPORT
P 2: W&S MOTORSPORT GMBH
P 3: RPM RACING
P 4: CAMERON, CAMERON, BONK, KLASEN
P 5: CLICKVERSICHERUNG.DE-TEAM
P 6: RENT2DRIVE-FAMILIA-RACING
P 7: CP RACING
SP-10 (SRO GT4) CLASS
P 2: ALLIED-RACING GMBH
P 1: KÖPPEN, MUNHOWEN, PIER, CATE
P 2: ZENSEN, PEITZMEIER, MÜLLER, DANNESBERGER
CUP 3 CLASS
P 1: BLACK FALCON TEAM TEXTAR
P 2: GRÜTTER, GROSSE, NICHOLAS
P 3: K-KRÄMER RACING
P 4: TEAM MATHOL RACING E.V.
P 5: W&S MOTORSPORT GMBH
P 6: K-KRÄMER RACING
P 1: TEAM MATHOL RACING E.V.
P 1: TEAM MATHOL RACING E.V.
P 2: PIXUM CFN ADRENALIN MOTORSPORT
P 1: FOUR MOTORS BIOCONCEPT-CAR
P 2: FOUR MOTORS BIOCONCEPT-CAR