After their inaugural World Endurance Championship season together netted 6 podium positions, a 1-2 victory at the 24 hours of Le Mans, and only one retirement, Porsche and Manthey Racing GmbH have taken their relationship to the next level for the 2014 season. Team boss and namesake, Olaf Manthey, has sold a majority share of the Porsche outfit to Porsche themselves for an undisclosed price.
Manthey, himself a retired DTM driver, began the team in 1996, and under his watchful eye the team won a number of championships, including the Porsche Supercup from 1997 through 2000, a 1999 Le Mans 24 GT class win, and five Nurburgring 24 overall victories. Last December, Manthey Racing merged with another VLN team, Raeder Automotive, working together to form a more competitive organization.
After a year of 'de facto' factory support, Manthey has now officially become a Porsche Werks team, and will continue to run a pair of 991 RSR in the World Endurance Championship GT Endurance Pro class for 2014. Porsche AG R&D Executive Vice President, Wolfgang Hatz had this to say of the announcement;
“I’m sure this will help us to prepare even better for the challenges we are facing together in the WEC and I look forward to working with Olaf Manthey, Nicolas Raeder and Martin Raeder".
The GTE Pro team has lost one member in the form of Marc Leib to the LMP1 program. A recent signing of ex-Aston Martin driver Frédéric Makowiecki (Mako) to the Porsche squad may be a solid replacement for Leib in the RSR (although Porsche has yet to confirm all driving assignments for 2014).
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