At the six-hour race on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, generally regarded as the dress rehearsal
for the Le Mans 24 Hours on 13/14 June, the Porsche Manthey squad scored two podium results. Campaigning the 470 hp Porsche 911 RSR, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, Porsche works drivers Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Richard Lietz (Austria) put in a spirited charge through the field to bring home second place in the GTE-Pro class. In the sister 911 RSR fielded by Porsche Manthey, Porsche Junior Sven Müller (Germany) and Kévin Estre (France) secured third after a strong drive at their WEC debut.
Over 54,000 spectators travelled to the storied circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes region on Friday and Saturday and were treated to a riveting qualifying followed by an equally as gripping second round of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship. After a somewhat cautious start from the fourth GT row, Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz, who team up in WEC cockpit for the first time together this season, picked up the pace in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR over the course of the race. Thanks to their spirited drive on the challenging Ardennes circuit and a perfect pit stop strategy, the two made up critical places and, after a spectacular charge through the field, were able to crown their feat with a podium finish.
With an impressive performance at their maiden outing with the Porsche 911 RSR, Porsche Junior Sven Müller and Kévin Estre were also able to hold their own in the top-class GT field. On the difficult 7.004-kilometre circuit, the pair stood in for the regular WEC drivers Michael Christensen (Denmark) and Patrick Pilet (France) – who are contesting the Tudor United SportsCar Championship in Laguna Seca/USA on Sunday for Porsche North America – and promptly clinched a podium result. At their first WEC race and as teammates, they lost time and positions in the first race hour through a collision, but remained unruffled by the setback. Turning consistently quick laps and with that touch of race luck, they battled their way up the field to bring home a well-deserved podium result. This season, Sven Müller normally competes in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup and drives at selected rounds of the Carrera Cup Deutschland. Kévin Estre won the Carrera Cup France in 2011 and the Carrera Cup Deutschland in 2013.
In the 911 RSR fielded by the Porsche customer team Abu Dhabi Proton Racing, the former Porsche Junior Klaus Bachler (Austria), and his teammates Christian Ried (Germany) and Khaled Al Qubaisi (Abu Dhabi) narrowly missed out on a podium spot in the GTE-Am class. They were flagged off in fourth. US race driver and actor Patrick Dempsey, Porsche works driver Patrick Long (USA) and Marco Seefried (Austria) finished in fifth at the wheel of Dempsey Proton Racing’s 911 RSR.