A race weekend that had it all: Winning streaks being continued, winless droughts coming to an end, first time winners, dominant vitories and exciting last lap dramas. A bit of everything you could say.
But as with ORECA’s win at the 12 hours of Sebring early this year I was particularly delighted to see a true racer and his dedicated team win a big one against the mighty competition of works teams. Olaf Manthey is perhaps not internationally known at the same level with Hugues de Chaunac. But as a touring car driver in the eighties he was as seriously quick and successful, as his cars are nowadays at every round of the Nürburgring’s endurance races.
Manthey Racing took the Nürburgring 24 hours race by storm last weekend and has now won this classic endurance race in Germany`s Eifel region for the fifth time, again beating the official Porsche and BMW works teams – including the hidden ones from Audi – fair and square. The team’s perhaps greatest international success was winning the GT class in the 1999 Le Mans 24 hours race. And it perhaps was – in a way – more glamorous to run a DTM team in 2002. But all of this is secondary to Olaf Manthey.
The man is in fact in love with the wild and rugged Nordschleife. Taming the grand lady and winning the 24h Nürburgring race is his biggest ambition. And on a sunny Sunday afternoon he hugged his champagne drenched drivers Marc Lieb, Lucas Luhr, Romain Dumas and Timo Bernhard, thinking to himself with a broad grin: “Mission accomplished – once again“. Congratulations for that, Olaf!
This time we got more than a hundred pages of motor sport coverage from around the globe for you in issue no. 22. Enjoy the read!
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