Held since 1970, the 24 Hours of Nürburgring is one of the most difficult races of the Endurance calendar, with more than 200 cars and over 700 drivers fighting along the 25.3 kms of the “Green Hell”.
2023 marked the 51st edition of the legendary race, combining the historic Nordschleife and the Grand Prix Circuit, featuring over 170 corners in the middle of the Eifel forests.
Over the years, Manthey racing team, founded in 1996 by Olaf Manthey, has been highly successful, claiming numerous victories and podium finishes, establishing themselves as one of the most dominant teams in the history of the event. The iconic “Grello” flags are instantly recognizable all along the circuit, where spectators are waiting the acid yellow Porsche GT3 R number #911.
With Bmw, Mercedes and Audi team fighting for over 160 laps, the verdict was not expected! Frikadelli Racing Team triumphed gloriously, piloting their Ferrari 296 GT3 to an astounding victory. The GT3 R from Manthey unfortunately had to retire during the night for a technical problem, while the first Porsche on the finish line arrived in 5th position.
In an event long-renowned for its capricious weather conditions and treacherous 25-kilometer circuit, the Frikadelli team showcased their racing prowess by conquering all obstacles that the Nordschleife flung their way. The 296 GT3, with its all new 6 cylinder, set the stage for a dominating performance that kept fans on the edge of their seats.
The ambiance off the track was equally electrifying. The Nürburgring 24h felt less like a race and more like a festival, with the collective spirit of motorsports fans setting the area abuzz. Race-goers turned the Eifel region into a sprawling campsite, tents speckled throughout the landscape like a field of multicolored mushrooms. There was an aura of communal unity, of shared passion and excitement that transformed the event into an automotive Woodstock.
As dusk fell, with temperatures around 10 degrees, the sounds of the engines mixed to the techno music and the circuit lit up in an awe-inspiring display of fireworks, slicing through the Eifel darkness, illuminating the iconic track in a dazzling blaze of color.
Few weeks before the already legendary victory of the 499P in Le Mans, the 296 GT3 set the first brand’s victory at the Adac Total Energies 24 hour of Nurburgring.
Despite the sadness for the retirement of the GT3 R from Manthey, the result of the Frikadelli team was a grand spectacle to behold, while the second and third place went, respectively, to the “Rowe” Team BMW M4 GT3 and the Mercedes AMG GT3 with an impeccable performance over one of the most challenging circuits known to motorsports.