With a banger of a finale, Fred Makowiecki won the first VLN Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) race of the season. The pressure was high aboard the #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 991.2 GT3R as Land Motorsport’s Jusuf Owega challenged the Porsche pilot for the lead until the final metres, but with experience coming into play it was the Frenchman who prevailed.
“It’s good to start like this,” said Makowiecki.
“I think it was a good race for us. We were maybe not the fastest, but we did not make any mistakes, had a good strategy, we were consistent and that is also one of the reasons why we are strong here.”
Starting from fifteenth place after failing to find a clear lap in qualifying, Manthey Racing came to the fore at the halfway mark of the race where the first hard-fought battles with the Land Audi took place.
After Michael Christensen and Laurens Vanthoor had done their jobs in bringing the Porsche to the lead, it was up to ‘Mako’ to bring it home in the final hour.
Unexpectedly, however, Owega nearly threw a wrench in the works as the youngster pushed, pushed and pushed to overtake.
“The Nordschleife is a track, even though it is a long track, where it’s quite hard to overtake. The main thing is to get a gap in the right place to not be overtaken. He had one or two chances to do so, but it was not enough for him to do it. I could stay ahead and this is the advantage of an experienced driver.”
With the first win in the bag, Manthey Racing continues to prepare for the big one in May: the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring.
“The 24 Hours is another story. You need to have the speed. Let’s see, we also need to analyse everything from our side. The car was good, but you need to have the full package – we showed this today, but in the 24 Hours you can also have cold conditions, some rain – this is another story, so let’s see what we can do.”
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