Eminent Porsche outfit Manthey-Racing are celebrating the team’s 25th anniversary in motorsport this year.
Founded in 1996 by former DTM vice-champion and inaugural 1990 Porsche Carrera Cup champion Olaf Manthey, it wasn’t long until the team, using the Stuttgart marque’s machinery, racked up some impressive results.
The same year, Manthey-Racing took 22 wins in the Nurburgring Endurance Series (NLS) before joining the Porsche Supercup, then running alongside the Formula 1 calendar. They finished fourth in their first season, and things just got better from there.
From 1997, Patrick Huisman took Manthey-Racing’s car to four consecutive Supercup drivers and teams’ championships – a record that has yet to be matched in the series.
Manthey-Racing debuted at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1999, and its Porsche 911 GT3 R won the GT class on its first attempt. Buoyed by its early success, the team moved from Rheinbreitback to Meuspath, adjacent to the Nurburgring.
In moving closer to Porsche’s centre of operations, the bond between team and manufacturer tightened, and Porsche announced Manthey-Racing as the outfit to run its UPS Porsche Junior Team in 2006, ahead of the team’s eleventh season in motorsport.
Manthey-Racing debuted the Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that year and the car won its class at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, now just a short drive from the team’s new Eifel base.
The team merged with Raeder Automotive GmbH in 2013, and Porsche AG secured a 51 per cent majority stake in Manthey-Racing the same year. Since then, Manthey-Racing has run Porsche’s factory 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship, and the 911 GT3 R in the NLS and the Nurburgring 24 Hours. Not a bad first 25 years in business.
Speaking of the Nurburgring 24 Hours, the team took several tilts at top honours at “the Green Hell“, succeeding in 2006 after three failed attempts, running the 911 GT3-MR.
The 911 GT3 RSR continued the winning streak through 2007, 2008 and 2009, but the 911 GT3 R Hybrid was forced to retire in 2010 with a broken valve spring, while looking set for a fifth straight win.
Not to be denied for too long, Manthey-Racing picked up where they had left off in 2011 and regained their crown as “Kings of the ‘Ring“.
Porsche brand ambassador Timo Bernhard had been behind the wheel for part of all five wins, four of those coming alongside Marcel Tiemann, with Le Mans winners-to-be Marc Lieb and Romain Dumas also sharing seat time.
The team had to wait a while for their sixth crown, but it came in 2018 with the 911 GT3 R (pictured), cementing Manthey-Racing as the Nurburgring 24 Hours’ most successful outfit.
“Manthey-Racing has been an important partner for Porsche since the racing outfit was founded in 1996. We’ve achieved a great deal in motorsport together, we’ve won many races and titles,” says Fritz Enzinger, Vice President, Porsche Motorsport.
“The enthusiasm and professionalism of the Meuspath crew provided the basis for this. The two companies have been closely affiliated since 2013 and have expanded their cooperation to include many other areas of business.“
Founder Olaf Manthey added, “When I founded Manthey-Racing in 1996, I couldn’t envisage how the company would grow.
“Thanks to the huge commitment of everyone involved and their dedication to precision, which is what counts in motor racing, we managed to convince Porsche of our competence.
“Today, the sports car manufacturer even owns the majority share of Manthey-Racing and that makes me proud. The decision to put the business in the hands of Nicki and Martin Raeder in 2013 also turned out to be the right one: They will continue to run the company in the same way as I intended – professional yet down-to-earth and with heart and soul.
“I look forward to being able to actively support the development of Manthey-Racing from the sidelines in the future as well.”
Manthey-Racing will be recognisable to many for their exploits running factory Porsches in the FIA World Endurance Championship since 2013, taking the class win at Le Mans in the 911 RSR’s debut year.
They took all three GTE-Pro titles in 2015, and repeated the clean sweep in the championship’s 2018/19 “super season”, including a third Le Mans win and 1-2 finish on the Circuit de la Sarthe.
Manthey-Racing now runs Porsche’s factory WEC efforts, its annual Nurburgring-Nordschleife assaults, the Porsche Racing Experience by Manthey-Racing and provides factory support to customer outfits running Porsches in series’ around the world.
“We gladly continued Olaf Manthey’s philosophy after our two companies merged because it matched our thinking at Raeder Motorsport,” says Nicolas Raeder, the managing director and co-owner of Manthey-Racing.
“With Porsche as a partner and shareholder, our company has evolved at an exciting pace.
“And we want to continue growing in the future and build on the know-how that we’ve achieved in motorsport – by providing services for private drivers, at events or in the development of racing and road-going sports cars.
“With our dedicated employees, we can hardly wait to tackle the next 25 years in the gripping story of Manthey-Racing.”