as most of you already know, I can not participate this year in the 24h of the Nordschleife for medical reasons. I am positive, that one day I will be able to drive again a car on the road and than we see what will happen!
For the moment I have to liv with my 5 wins at the 24h of the Nordschleife. …what could be worse 😉
I would like to thank the team Manthey, I won 4 in row and Phoenix, I won the first one with.
I am sure Manthey Racing and my “old” teammates have experience enough and they don’t need my help….
…ok, maybe they do a bit…;-)
But I do wish the same for “my” other team called Phoenix Racing, which are doing a fantastic job at the moment in DTM and GT Racing as some of you know.
So my friends, till than I have to liv with my 5 24h wins in total.
I wish ALL of you good luck and hopefully a race without any incidents on the track!!
See you soon…
better late then never…;-)
I would like to say thank you to all of you who left me a message or comment on my blog.
I still have to read some of them. Most I have already read the last days since I am a bit better.
Just the not seeing to my right hemisphere gives me enough trouble to not read and writing anymore as before. It’s taking extremely long for me and is sometimes very frustrating. Anyhow, for now I have to start to liv with that, even though I don’t give up and hope it will get better in the future. 😉
This is my way of saying: “Thank You” to all of you for standing beside me in this time….
now it is official!
I will participate in 2 full Championships and in the 24h of the Nordschleife.
As in the past years, I will continue driving in the VLN Championship and the 24h of the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
My partners will be the same as usual: Porsche and Manthey Racing of course…;-)
Never change a winning Team!
My second and new engagement this year will be in the International GT Open Championship. I will race with Phoenix Racing and share an Audi R8-LMS with Jim Matthew.
In the past years, I already raced with Jim in the Grand Am Series on an Daytona Prototype.
I am very happy to race with these two Teams. They both mean a lot to me. With Phoenix Racing I won my first 24h race at the Nordschleife in 2003 and with Manthey Racing I have achieved winning 4 more in the past years. Not to forget that most of my 18 VLN wins were with Manthey Racing.
Both teams are based at the Nürburgring what makes it much easier for me.
The Intl. GT Open Championship is a great series that goes to some of the best tracks in Europe. You should really have a look at it.
I am really looking forward to this busy Season and I am sure it will be a very challenging one!
…but thats what my Job is all about and I love it! ;-))
See you guys at the track…
As promised earlier I will give you my view of the race. I know it took some while, but I really wanted to get some time off and just enjoy what happened 😉 .
The tension from the months before this race was extremely high. With all questions about the new rules and therefore the “Balance of performance” and of course if we are able to win again.
The weekend started already Thursday with the free practice and first Qualifying. In free practice I was not able to drive a lap as planned because were running out of time. In first qualifying the conditions were not very good because of the rain/ no rain.
It was my turn to go for the 2 laps that every driver needs to complete to get qualified for the race. When Marc came in, I stayed on rain tyres but unfortunately it was already too dry and my rain tyres started to get too hot and therefore I had an uncontrollable rear end. For my second lap I changed for slick and typical Nordschleife, it started to rain! So that was it for me because on the next day we decided Marc is just going for 2 more qualifying laps. P2.
After the qualifying I was confident that we could keep the same speed as the Audis and I felt a bit more relaxed because we really didn’t know if this was the case.
Marc was the start driver and did a fantastic job. I was co-comentating the start on DSF and I was so excitited, that it was hard to sit still 😉 . For me it was another 4 hours before I got into the car and of course after Audi was taking P1 and drove lap times that we never expected we were all a bit nervous if we are able to keep the speed and follow them!
When I was going into the car, I was loaded with adrenalin and curious how my stint would be without much driving time the days before. As well, you shouldn’t forget that all Porsche works driver already drove in the 24h Daytona, 12h Sebring and many more endurance races than me this year. For me, it was this year my 4th race and maybe you can imagine the pressure I had 😉 . Luckywise I am good under pressure but of course you never know and you get usually a bit nervous before.
But my first stint showed, that there was no reason to be nervous. I was really quick and straight up to speed. I could close the gap to Audi and felt even more motivated to beat Audi and of course all the others.
For us drivers there was only one way to go and that was driving at the absolute limit of the car every single lap, no matter what!!!
About my second stint, there is not much to say. It was during the night and there was the very long yellow on the GP Track.
You could read in my Post before about the 3 min I got for not respecting the yellow. This was not the case and I was certain, that I did absolutely nothing wrong. Because of the new rules we are obliged to have a data-recorder in the car that can be only read by the officials. I was pushing Olaf , that somebody should go to the officials and show them our data and if they agree they could as well check their own. Thats what they did to verify. I was very happy that they looked at it again with the result getting our 3 min back. I have to say that this is definitely a good part of the new rules. The marshals are doing a fantastic job and I don’t blame them for anything but sometimes it is not easy for them to really see what happens and of course it is not easy to see if a car is driving under 50km/h or over for example. They always try to be as fair as possible and to see the situations right. At this point I would also thank them for what they are doing. Without all this volunteers around the track they wouldn’t be a race!
The morning has come and it was again my turn to get in the car. We gained back time step by step but we also knew, that we have to keep on pushing.
I think that this 8 laps were some of my most exciting ones on the Nordschleife. For me the “morning stints” are the bests. I love to see the sun go up, a bit less traffic, fresh air, the fans start to wake up and you are sitting in the car and just focused on driving. It felt so good that you are in a kind of own world where its just you the track and the car.
In this “state of balance” I drove the fastest Lap of the race and the whole stint was just superquick. When Marc went in the car he even mentioned it to me while I was closing his seatbelt and I told him just push you can do it as well. And that’s what he did just a tiny bit slower than his fastest 😉 .
After this I really needed to take quick shower and a nap. When I woke up and I watched the screen, I hardly couldn’t imagine what I saw: Our car was on P1 and the Phoenix Audi dropped back. I didn’t know what happened then but I felt how a bit of the pressure was gone. The next thing in my mind was then hopefully we don’t get a problem as well after pushing that hard or hopefully we don’t get a puncture. You get one thing out of your mind and suddenly other becoming more important.
The other Audi was approx. 5 min behind us so we couldn’t completely let go and kept the speed high but not as fast as before.
My last stint was difficult from the concentration side. If you are not in need to push really hard and they tell you to drive around 9 min a lap, you have so much time to think. For example about the traffic when you pass or about the noises in the car everything is suddenly on your mind and you hope that things will just go fine…..
16.00, P1!!! I can not describe my feelings when we crossed the finish line. Everything is suddenly over and you try to realize what just happened: 4 times in a row and 5 times for me. Wow, its just amazing.
All the hard work from the Team and us drivers paid of at the end and there is not much that makes you more excited than that. Even for days afterwards you are living out of this and enjoying and realizing what happened.
All the days after I was still so “high” that I couldn’t wait to get back in the car and still now I am looking forward to next week for the next VLN race.
One thing you realize the night after the race: Pain! Every time you turn around in bed your back and butt is hurting and this for days 😉 .
I want like to thank all of you for your support and I hope that we can do it again!!!
… I mean why not? ;-))
We attacked, set fastest lap and distance record — “Winner of the 24h Nürburgring/ Nordschleife 2009”
What a race! First of all I would like to say thank you to everybody who supported me and my team.
In the next view days I will let you know more about my personal impressions of the 24h.
For the moment I need some time to understand what happened this weekend ;-)) .
Hope you understand that…
Fastest lap: 8:36.768 – on lap 99
Laps overall: 155 = 3.933 km (2.438 miles)
“That’s just fantastic,” beamed Marcel Tiemann when the race at the Nürburgring was over. “Manthey Racing and I have made history, today. My fifth win! I just can’t believe it. It means even more to me than my maiden Nürburgring 24h Race triumph. And it’s another corner stone for me to have made it to the top position in the 24h-race record book.” Team Principal Olaf Manthey returned the compliments of his most successful driver. “I’m extremely proud of my drivers. I can’t imagine a better line-up for the 24h race than Timo, Marc, Romain and Marcel.” At the same time, Manthey and Tieman also showed their opponents respect: “A compliment to Audi for the great performance,” said Tiemann and his Team Principal added: “Prior to the race I had serious doubts if we would be able to defy the Audis. The more I’m delighted now about the fact that we succeeded in doing so and experienced such a successful race.”
|Ranking Top 10|
|1||1||Porsche 911 GT3 RSR||155||24:05:01.412|
|2||97||Abt Audi R8 LMS||154||24:01:50.529|
|3||2||Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S||152||24:08:27.446|
|4||18||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||150||24:02:07.807|
|5||99||Abt Audi R8 LMS||149||24:01:50.600|
|7||4||Porsche 997 GT3||149||24:04:57.411|
|8||123||Porsche 911 GT3 Cup S||148||24:04:38.565|
|9||29||Porsche 997 RSR||146||24:04:24.477|
|10||69||BMW Z4-M Coupe||145||24:04:39.707|
Just a quick update:
My first stint was fantastic. We were in second position and I could gain back nearly 60sec to the first position, the Phoenix Audi.
My second was around 02.00. It started really good and I had a bit fun with Ragginger, the Porsche junior.
I was supposed to drive a double stint but because of a yellow on the GP track I would be in the car for too long. The rules allow you to drive max 02.30 std.
On top of it I got a penalty off 3min!! For not respecting the yellow.
The marshal said I was to quick!!
Absolut rediculous. I was always in a convoi with other cars and my speed was under 50km/h and first gear.
We try to show them our data recording so we can proof that I did nothing wrong. Let’s hope they think thru it again…
We will still attack and see what happens.
Another 12hours to go….