Porsche 911 GT3 R on podium course over a long stretch

Race, 24 Hours of Spa, Spa-Francorchamps/Belgium

Over a long stretch of the 24 Hours of Spa, the best Porsche 911 GT3 R was on a clear course for a podium result. However, a repeatedly lapped vehicle failed to see the #117 nine-eleven fielded by KÜS Team75 Bernhard and brought an abrupt end to the strong performance of the drivers Earl Bamber (New Zealand), Timo Bernhard (Germany) and Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) with five hours and 38 minutes to the flag. The Porsche 911 GT3 R run by the Manthey-Racing team with the starting number 911 was hampered by electrical problems while running promisingly during the night. The crew of Romain Dumas (France), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Dirk Werner (Germany) were unable to make up lost ground after the necessary repairs and concluded the endurance classic on 29th place.

After a strong performance during the night, Black Swan Racing had joined the frontrunners of the Pro-Am category. With their Porsche 911 GT3 R (#540), Tim Pappas (USA), Marc Miller (USA), Jeroen Bleekemolen (Netherlands) and Marc Lieb (Germany) were heading for a podium spot at the 24-hour marathon in Spa-Francorchamps only to have several minor damages throw the team down the field again. Shortly before the end of the race, Marc Lieb had to ultimately park the vehicle in the pits.

KÜS Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R (117), Timo Bernhard (D), Earl Bamber (NZ), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Spa-Francorchamps 2018
KÜS Team75 Bernhard, Porsche 911 GT3 R (117), Timo Bernhard (D), Earl Bamber (NZ), Laurens Vanthoor (B), Spa-Francorchamps 2018

In the Am-category, the Porsche 911 GT3 R fielded by Herberth Motorsport was one of the fastest vehicles. A driveshaft defect, however, robbed them of all hopes for a victory. Jürgen Häring, Edward-Lewis Brauner, Wolfgang Triller and Alfred Renauer concluded the Ardennes marathon in their #991 customer sports racer sixth in the Am-class.

A total of 221 drivers and 63 vehicles tackled this year’s 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps. Thirteen manufacturers were represented at the 70th edition of the Ardennes marathon, which is regarded as the largest and most important GT3 event in the world.

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