Manthey Racing has captured victory in Saturday’s opening round of the VLN series, following late-race drama for the Falken Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Patrick Pilet took his Porsche to a 1 minute and 8-second victory over the No. 38 Bentley Team Abt Bentley Continental GT3 of Christer Jons, Chris Bruck and Jordan Pepper.
It came after an accident for Laurens Vanthoor with nine minutes remaining in the then-leading No. 4 Falken Porsche, which veered off course and slammed into the wall after getting caught up in traffic.
The Falken car did not finish the four-hour race.
Pilet, meanwhile, shared the wheel of the winning No. 911 Porsche with fellow factory drivers Romain Dumas and Fred Makowiecki, in the first race in the build up to Nürburgring 24 in May.
The runner-up finish for the Bentley marked the British marque’s best-ever finish at the Nordschleife.
Vanthoor’s late-race misfortunes promoted the No. 28 Audi Sport Team Land Audi R8 LMS to a podium position in the team’s factory debut, following a final-lap duel with the No. 50 WRT Audi, which came home fourth overall.
The No. 49 WRT Audi completed the top-five, with the best-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 coming home seventh, in the hands of Black Falcon.
The next VLN round takes place on April 4, and will again be broadcast live on RadioLeMans.com.