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Bachler “100 Percent Behind” Manthey’s Call for Wets

Klaus Bachler backs Manthey PureRxcing’s decision to pit for wets in 6H Imola, even though it cost the team a class win…

Photo: Juergen Tap/Porsche

Manthey PureRxcing driver Klaus Bachler is “100 percent behind” his team’s call to switch to wet tires in the 6 Hours of Imola, even though the call ultimately cost a second consecutive LMGT3 class victory.

Bachler, Alex Malykhin and Joel Sturm finished third in Sunday’s second round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, ending up behind the pair of Team WRT BMW M4 GT3s as the Munich marque celebrated a 1-2 finish.

The No. 92 Porsche 911 GT3 dominated the opening exchanges, but its fortunes changed when the car pitted to switch to wet weather tires with just under two hours remaining.

Even amidst the treacherous and changeable conditions, this call ultimately backfired as BMW drivers Augusto Farfus and Maxime Martin opted remained on slicks and came out on top as the track eventually dried out again.

Despite that, Bachler doesn’t hold his team at fault for the decision, saying he supported the call to bring the car in from the lead.

“Honestly, I’m 100 percent behind the decision to go on rain tires,” Bachler told Sportscar365.

“I thought it’s the better choice, just by feeling. So in the end, I did not decide it, but I also made by myself the wrong choice.

“So in the end, for me, we did not do anything wrong. It was just the weather we can’t predict. If it would keep on going raining, we would be the lucky ones and win the race.

Bachler added that Manthey went “the safe way” amidst the tricky conditions, not willing to risk a situation where he would get caught out and end up in the gravel trap.

“Of course, it’s also easy to say afterwards they made the right decision and we made the wrong decision, but it can also go completely the opposite,” he said.

“The next thing is – it’s so easy to lose the car in these conditions with slicks. Then theoretically you would win the race, but practically you can also end up in the gravel.

“So everything is possible, so nothing to say. We [drove] a great race as a team. Happy about this and looking forward to the next one.

BMW M Motorsport director Andreas Roos, meanwhile, indicated that the WRT crew made the call to not change tires after input from Farfus and Martin.

“At this time Augusto and Maxime were in the car,” Roos told Sportscar365.

“They are very experienced drivers, they know the car inside out and you have to trust the guys in the car.

“They were in contact with the with the team and they had a feeling if it stays like this they can can survive with the slick tires.

“It proved to be the right decision and the guys didn’t do a mistake. A lot of others went off but they managed to to keep the car on track, even going flat out.”

Although the decision not to pit ultimately paid off for BMW, Roos admitted that he had been worrying about the prospects of conditions getting worse.

“If it would have rained more then, for sure we would have have lost out,” he said.

“When it comes to the situation that you really have then to go to wet tires, then you lose out. But we also had the weather radar always there.

“For sure, sometimes it’s a 50-50 decision and sometimes you just have to take the decision and hope that it goes in your favor. It definitely did.”

Davey Euwema is Sportscar365's European Editor. Based in The Netherlands, Euwema covers the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series and Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS, among other series.

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