It was Dennis Olsen who stole the show with the number 12 Manthey Racing Porsche 991 GT3R in VLN3, but Otto Klohs’ one and only lap to the finish was celebrated just as much. The humble gentleman driver from Ludwigshafen sacrificed much of his race to allow the team to score a well-deserved podium finish.
With Manthey Racing team-mate Kévin Estre on his heels and Dirk Müller in the number 14 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 closing in, Klohs kept his cool as he drove out of the pits for the final lap.
Klohs held on to take the chequered flag in third place and was later promoted to second after a penalty for the Estre-piloted Manthey Porsche.
“It was a very difficult lap, but I was absolutely convinced to catch the podium,” Klohs says.
“We changed from rain tyres to slicks. With more speed on the slicks, three Code 60s and two yellow flags, I could keep the gap to the number 14 Mercedes with Dirk Müller and stay on the podium.
“Kévin Estre was coming and he’s my team-mate and faster, and I also didn’t want to block him.”
Klohs especially praised co-driver Dennis Olsen’s performance. The young Norwegian stole the limelight with a monster triple stint.
“We’re very happy with third place, and my congratulations goes to Dennis with a famous, incredible and powerful race. He did nearly 4 hours in the car, at times he was the fastest driver in the field, it was an excellent performance. That’s incredible under these conditions.”
An excellent performance even more remarkable as it was an older generation, pre-redesign, Porsche 991 GT3R that Klohs and Olsen raced to second place with. Klohs did consider upgrading to the new 991.2 but eventually decided to stick with the 2016-model.
“We were thinking of selling it and look for another car. There were some options, also with Porsche, but they didn’t work out.
“I said, look, it’s a good car so I’ll keep it and we’ll do the 24-hour race once again.
“The car is perfect, it performs very well, it’s still competitive, and I love it.”