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Intercontinental GT Challenge

Manthey to Skip California 8H

Manthey drivers expected to be placed in Wright Porsche 911 GT3 R for California 8H…

Photo: Porsche

Manthey Racing will not take part in this month’s California 8 Hours, with Porsche set to be represented by a single factory-supported entry from Wright Motorsports.

Sportscar365 has learned that the German squad, initially a full-season Intercontinental GT Challenge entrant, has elected to forgo the season-ending round following a string of disappointing results.

The No. 911 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Dirk Werner, Romain Dumas and Fred Makowiecki, which finished sixth in the season-opening Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, recorded a 29th and 12th place finishes in the recent IGTC rounds at Spa and Suzuka, respectively.

With only 24 points earned in the last two races, Porsche has also dropped out of the manufacturers’ title race, which led to the revised strategy.

“Looking at the results, the chances of the championship, we kept this point open,” Head of Porsche Motorsport Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser told Sportscar365.

“As we did learn a lot, we did not achieve a lot, we changed a little bit of the plan and decided we’d run with a customer team like we’ve done in the past where we bring the drivers there.

“We always had this option to the end of the season to see how we were doing [championship-wise].”

While an announcement has yet to be made, Werner, Dumas and Makowiecki are set to be placed in Wright’s entry for the Oct. 26-28 race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

“That’s what I expect,” Walliser said.

It will result in only one works-supported entry from the German manufacturer after filling two cars with factory drivers in the other IGTC rounds this season.

At least one additional GT3-spec Porsche, however, will be on the grid at Laguna Seca, in the Pro-Am class Black Swan Racing entry, which is expected to feature the lineup of Tim Pappas, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Marc Miller.

Walliser said they’ve yet to decide on whether Porsche will continue its IGTC campaign next year.

“We’re sorting out the programs at the moment,” he said.

“We have a lot of response on the [new] GT3 R, which is very positive. But now we have to see where the customers go and what they do, also with the capacity of the factory drivers.

“I would like to [do IGTC again] as I still believe the series of four of five races is really good. I think SRO is working a lot in structuring all of the series around the world.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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