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Nürburgring Endurance

Manthey Overcomes Penalty to Win Opening NLS Round

Kevin Estre, Lars Kern, Michael Christensen win first NLS race of season…

Photo: Porsche

Manthey Racing overcame a stop-and-go penalty to claim victory in the first Nürburgring Langstrecken Serie race of the season.

Michael Christensen took the ‘Grello’ liveried No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R to a 16.771-second win in the 45th NIMEX DMV 4h race over the No. 31 Frikadelli Racing Porsche of Dennis Olsen.

Christensen emerged as the leader courtesy of having a quicker final pit stop over the pair of contending Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS Evo GT3s, which opted for a different fuel strategy early in the four-hour contest, which ended in light rain.

While having started on pole thanks to Dennis Olsen’s lap in qualifying, Kevin Estre made a brave, high-speed overtake around Fred Makowiecki to take the lead on the opening lap, which came partially in the grass.

The Frenchman stretched out into a ten-second lead in the No. 911 Porsche until handing over to co-driver Lars Kern on Lap 7.

Kern came under pressure from Makowiecki, who briefly took the No. 31 Frikadelli Porsche to the lead in the second hour.

A stop-and-go penalty for not meeting the minimum pit stop time saw Christensen, however, lose ground after an on-track challenge with the No. 11 Phoenix Audi of Michele Beretta.

Aston Martin factory driver on-loan Nicki Thiim enjoyed a hard-fought battle with Phoenix teammate Frank Stippler for third, which ultimately went to the Dane and co-driver Michele Beretta.

Thiim came within one second of Olsen at the line after making a late charge.

KCMG made it three Porsches in the top-five with its No. 18 entry driven by Marco Holzer and Edoardo Liberati.

Axcil Jefferies starred at the wheel of Konrad Motorsport’s Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo, which finished sixth overall and in the SP9-Pro class.

It was one position ahead of the No. 3 Falken Motorsports Porsche and the BMW Junior Team BMW M6 GT3, which featured team leader Augusto Farfus in the opening stint.

SP9 Pro-Am class honors went to the No. 24 Lionspeed by Car Collection Motorsport Audi of Lorenzo  Rocco Di Torrepadula, Patrick Kolb and Patric Niederhauser while GetSpeed’s Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo of Janine Shoffner and Moritz Kranz picked up the win in the Am class.

Other category winners included the No. 921 KTM X-Bow GTX in the KTM X-Bow Cup class and the No. 57 Black Falcon Porsche 991 GT3 Cup MR, which took top honors in SP7.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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