Porsche has won the Nurburgring 24 hour race for the fourth time in a row. Timo Bernhard (D), Marc Lieb (D), Romain Dumas (F) and Marcel Tiemann (Monaco) crossed the finish line in the 480hp Porsche 911 GT3 RSR of the Manthey Racing team with a one lap advantage over the second-placed Audi R8.
The sister Manthey Porsche, the 445hp 911 GT3 Cup S manned by Richard Lietz (A), Wolf Henzler (D), Emmanuel Collard (F) and Dirk Werner (D), occupied third position. Seven Porsche 911 racecars finished in the top ten. A total of 235000 spectators witnessed the fastest 24-hour race in history on the Nrburgring. Clocking up 3933 kilometers, the Manthey Racing squad improved on its own distance record from 2006 by a further 101km. Timo Bernhard and Marcel Tiemann are the first drivers to win the long distance classic four times in succession. All in all, Tiemann has climbed to the top of the podium five times, making him the most successful driver of the 24-hour race.In the early stages, the race turned into a thriller. For almost one hour, Marc Lieb followed in the slipstream of the pole-setting Ford GT driven by Dirk Adorf. Only when the Ford spun after lapping a slower vehicle and fell back, did Lieb get a free run. Until the early morning hours, the winner of last year was entangled in a gripping duel with the fastest of the Audis. As the regulations allow the more powerful R8 LMS a 20-liter larger fuel tank, the Audi could turn out one more lap per tank. "To counteract this we had to take more risks and turn in qualifying laps to stay in the lead," said Timo Bernhard, describing his most gruelling 24-hour race to date. "It was only when the Audi experienced technical problems that we could take it a little more carefully during the last hours," added Marc Lieb.
For Romain Dumas this was the most decisive factor in the race: "All of us were able to maintain an unbelievable pace and not one of us made the slightest error." For Marcel Tiemann it was a dream come true: "We wrote motorsport history today. To win this race four times in a row with this team and now become the driver with the most victories here means a great deal to me."Another impressive demonstration of the renowned reliability of the Porsche 911 was shown by the squad under Uwe Alzen (D). Sharing driving duties with his all German line-up, Sascha Bert, Lance David Arnold and Christopher Mies, they brought home fourth place with their 420hp 911 GT3 Cup, which is raced in 13 Porsche trophy series around the world.
Overall result 2009 Nurburgring 24 hour race
1. Bernhard/Lieb/Dumas/Tiemann, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 155 laps
2. Abt/Hemroulle/Kaffer/Luhr, Audi R8 LMS, 154
3. Collard/Henzler/Lietz/Werner, Porsche GT3 Cup S, 152
4. Alzen/Bert/Arnold/Mies, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 150
5. Basseng/Fssler/Rockenfeller/Stippler, Audi R8 LMS, 149
6. Schmitz/Abbelen/Althoff/Heyer, Porsche 911 GT3, 149
7. Krling/Gindorf/Scharmach/Holzer, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 149
8. Bermes/Kainz/Schmickler/Bergmeister, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S, 148
9. Quinn/Quinn/Baird/Denyer, Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, 146
10. Adams/Ludwig/Meier/Grossmann, BMW Z4 M Coup, 145