Manthey EMA Claims Historic First-Ever LMGT3 Win at Le Mans

By Score More

In a thrilling and historic race, Manthey EMA has made its mark by claiming the first-ever LMGT3 class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The trio of Yasser Shahin, Morris Schuring, and Richard Lietz piloted the No. 91 Porsche 911 GT3 R to a triumphant finish, outpacing the No. 31 BMW M4 GT3 from Team WRT.

The No. 91 Porsche, expertly driven by the Manthey EMA team, crossed the finish line a full lap ahead of the BMW M4 GT3, shared by Darren Leung, Sean Gelael, and Augusto Farfus. Proton Competition also celebrated a successful debut for the Ford Mustang GT3, securing third place with drivers Giorgio Roda, Mikkel Pedersen, and Dennis Olsen.

The race, marking the 92nd running of the French endurance classic, saw early dominance from the Manthey-entered Porsches. However, a four-and-a-half hour safety car period due to heavy rain disrupted the race’s rhythm. Despite these challenges, the No. 91 Porsche emerged strong, especially after overcoming a crucial gearbox issue that forced its sister car, the No. 92 Porsche, out of contention.

Richard Lietz played a pivotal role in the No. 91 car’s victory. After overtaking Klaus Bachler post-restart, Lietz maintained the lead, withstanding intense competition from Team WRT’s BMW. Farfus initially led after outpacing Schuring, but Lietz’s decisive move on Gelael at Indianapolis secured Manthey’s position at the front.

This victory is a milestone for Manthey EMA, marking their second significant endurance win this year, following their success at the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour in February. Their performance at the Nürburgring 24 earlier this month also saw them finish on the overall podium, showcasing their prowess in endurance racing.

Proton Competition’s strong showing included a top-five finish for their second Mustang GT3, driven by John Hartshorne, Ben Tuck, and Christopher Mies, who finished fourth. The No. 85 Iron Dames Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, piloted by Sarah Bovy, Michelle Gatting, and Rahel Frey, secured fifth place, followed by the No. 55 Vista AF Corse Ferrari and the No. 78 Akkodis ASP Team Lexus RC F GT3.

The top ten in the LMGT3 class was completed by the No. 155 Spirit of Race Ferrari, the No. 777 D’station Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo, and the second Akkodis ASP Lexus. However, the race saw notable retirements and setbacks. United Autosports faced a double retirement with their McLaren 720S GT3 Evos, and the pole-sitting Inception Racing McLaren suffered a broken radiator after a collision.

Chevrolet’s debut with the Corvette Z06 GT3.R was challenging, with neither TF Sport-entered examples finishing in the top ten. Mechanical issues also plagued the No. 81 Corvette, driven by Tom van Rompuy, Rui Andrade, and Charlie Eastwood.

The race’s first official retirement was the No. 54 Vista AF Corse Ferrari, which crashed early in the race. Additionally, the No. 27 Heart of Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT3 Evo was involved in a dramatic crash, but driver Daniel Mancinelli was cleared from the on-site medical center.

The No. 66 JMW Motorsport Ferrari and GR Racing’s No. 86 Ferrari also did not finish, with the latter stopping on track just 30 minutes before the race ended.

Manthey EMA’s historic win at Le Mans not only secures their place in the annals of racing history but also sets a new benchmark for endurance racing teams worldwide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *