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Nürburgring Endurance

Estre, Christensen Return to Manthey Porsche Crew

Three changes to Manthey’s Nordschleife lineup as Estre, Christensen, Cairoli join Kern…

Image: Manthey Racing

2018-19 FIA World Endurance GT champions Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen have returned to Manthey Racing’s driver lineup for the Nürburgring 24 and NLS.

The pair will co-drive the German team’s green and yellow No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R with Matteo Cairoli and Lars Kern, who is the only retained member of last season’s crew.

Estre and Christensen switched from Manthey to Frikadelli Racing Team for the 2020 Nürburgring endurance campaign and contested three NLS races together.

Their N24 bid was halted due to Porsche’s mass withdrawal of competitors due to positive coronavirus tests within the manufacturer’s 24 Hours of Le Mans group.

Estre and Christensen then focused on their run to third in the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship, which turned out to be their last GTE term together once Neel Jani was brought in to replace Christensen in the No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR-19.

While Christensen is no longer an official Porsche factory driver, the Dane continues to work with the manufacturer in GT3 and will be reunited with Estre on the Nordschleife.

Estre’s continuation in the WEC with the Manthey-run Porsche factory GTE squad means the Frenchman faces a date clash between the 6 Hours of Spa and NLS round three.

Additionally, the N24 takes place on the weekend of the Le Mans test day, while there is another scheduling conflict between the two championships later in the year.

The additions of Estre, Christensen and Cairoli to the Manthey setup comes after Julien Andlauer, Mathieu Jaminet and Matt Campbell drove alongside Kern last year.

Cairoli contested the N24 with Manthey in 2015, 2017 and 2019. His most recent appearance heralded a fourth-place finish in a lineup that included Kern.

The Italian also teamed up with Christensen when driving a KÜS Team75 Bernhard Porsche in the 2018 race.

Porsche’s mass withdrawal resulted in Manthey pulling out of last year’s N24 altogether, while Kern went on to drive the Frikadelli machine that finished seventh.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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