Driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR fielded by the Manthey Racing team, `works' factory drivers Timo Bernhard (Germany), Romain Dumas (France), Marc Lieb (Germany) as well as Manthey pilot Marcel Tiemann (Monaco) turned one faultless lap after the other in front of 220,000 fans and left 215 opponents behind them.
At the checkered flag, they held a one lap advantage over the second-placed 911 GT3-MR run by Manthey Racing. In third place was another Porsche 911 GT3.
At the beginning of the race it did not look as though the Manthey Porsche, starting number one, would secure another win. Just several yards after the start, the vehicle of pole-sitter Marc Lieb began to lose water from the cooling system. Through the ensuing repairs the team lost 16min. "It was very demanding to try to close this huge gap. But that's why the victory is the greatest moment of my career," said a jubilant Marc Lieb. "For the first 12 hours we all drove at the absolute limit and, mainly at night on a wet track, we managed to knock off 40sec per lap to the leader," confirmed Romain Dumas, who took home his second overall victory on his second visit in the `marathon of the Eifel Mountains'.
For Bernhard and Tiemann, this marked the third time in a row that they climbed to the top of the podium. "Winning the Sebring 12 hour race, and now this hat-trick on the Nrburgring, is absolutely crazy and means a great deal to me," said a thrilled Timo Bernhard. "Even though it didn't look like it in the second half of the race - this was my hardest fought victory," added Marcel Tiemann.
Only in the final phase could team principal Olaf Manthey tell his drivers to ease off. The gap of over three laps to team mates in the second-placed Porsche even left time to refill gearbox lubricant 45min before the flag, and gave enough time to check many of the vehicle's components.Romain Dumas brought the car over the finish line. "This hat-trick is the crowning achievement of my career as a team boss," said Olaf Manthey.
The second-placed 911 GT3-MR, the winning car of the 2006 24 hour race, also turned its laps without any problems. "We only changed the tires and refueled," said a delighted Pierre Kaffer after securing his best result in the event.
A total of eight Porsches finished in the top ten.
Results of the 2008 Nurburgring 24 hour race
1. Bernhard/Dumas/Lieb/Tiemann, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 148 laps
2. Hahne/Haarmann/Krumbach/Kaffer, Porsche 911 GT3-MR, 147 laps
3. Schmitz/Abbelen/Dr. Althoff/Heyer, Porsche 911 GT3, 145 laps
4.. Hartung/Neuberger/Engstler, BMW Z4 M, 144 laps
5. Krling/Gindorf/Scharmach/Ragginger, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 144 laps
6. Scheid/Kainz/Teichmann/Klasen, BMW M3 GTS, 143 laps
7. Schmidt-Staade/Muller/Riemer/Scholze, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 141 laps
8. Lambrecht/Helmroulle/Arnold, Porsche 911 GT3, 141 laps
9. Peters/Karlsson/Plesse/Kohler, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 140 laps
10. Matveev/Gorban/Gryazin/Tsarev, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 139 laps