Australian Porsche racer Matt Campbell will compete in a ‘dream’ endurance event this weekend when joining a 43-strong Porsche line-up for the 2018 Nurburgring 24 Hour at the 24.38km Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
In a year where it celebrates “70 Years of Porsche Sports Cars”, Porsche will have the greatest representation among the 150-car field with 43 911 and Cayman models competing at the German circuit, nicknamed the ‘Green Hell’.
Campbell will one of 13 Porsche works drivers and four Porsche Young Professionals joining customers teams across eight 911 GT3 R entries in the outright SP9 class in pursuit of overall victory.
Just one week after commencing his 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaign with GTE-Am team Dempsey Proton Racing, with which the 23-year-old gained pole position and placed fourth in class, Campbell will now join Frikadelli Racing for his maiden Nurburgring 24 Hour race.
“After racing at Spa last weekend for the first WEC round, this weekend sees me at Nurburgring for what is probably the most challenging race event in the world – the Nurburgring 24 Hour,” said Campbell.
“I’ve raced at the Nurburgring-Nordschleife several times now, most recently with the Frikadelli Racing Team in the VLN qualifying races leading into the 24 Hour race. Here you get a taste of what to expect for the 24-hour race so I feel we’re well prepared.
“The Nurburgring 24 Hour is one of those events you dream of doing and to be racing among the eight-strong 911 GT3 R line-up is unbelievable. The GT3 R is an awesome race car on any track, but to drive it at Nordschleife at one of the most gruelling races of the season is absolutely a career highlight.”
Campbell, the 2016 Porsche Wilson Security Carrera Cup Australia champion, will join Lance David Arnold, Alexander Müller and fellow Porsche factory racer Wolf Henzler in the Frikadelli Racing 911 GT3 R. Other Porsche works drivers include: Kévin Estre (France), Romain Dumas (France), Laurens Vanthoor (Belgium) and Earl Bamber (New Zealand) share the cockpit of the 911 GT3 R (#911) fielded by Manthey-Racing. Richard Lietz (Austria), Patrick Pilet (France), Frédéric Makowiecki (France) and Nick Tandy (Great Britain) pilot the #912 sister car. Michael Christensen (Denmark), André Lotterer (Germany), Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Young Professional Matteo Cairoli (Italy) form a formidable quartet at the Nürburgring debut of the KÜS Team75 Bernhard. Sven Müller and Dirk Werner from Germany reinforce the Falken Motorsports crew. Porsche Young Professional Dennis Olsen (Norway) and Porsche test driver and former Carrera Cup Australia racer Lars Kern (Germany) drive the third 911 GT3 R campaigned by Manthey-Racing. Mathieu Jaminet (France) will team with Campbell in Frikadelli Racing’s second 911 GT3 R.
“We’re delighted with our customers’ extraordinary trust. This year, there will be more Porsche race cars contesting the Nürburgring 24-hour race than at most other editions of the race,” says Sebastian Golz, Project Manager 911 GT3 R.
“Preparations have been completed in close cooperation with the teams and everything has gone to plan so far. The VLN 1 win and double pole at VLN 2 have underlined that the 911 GT3 R is well ironed out. We’re very interested to see how we’ll perform in close collaboration with our customers against strong opposition from other manufacturers.”
For the 2018 season, the Porsche 911 GT3 R received an update: The parts kit includes a new front lid for the optimisation of thermal management plus side flicks to improve the aero balance.
On Friday, 11 May, Porsche fans can catch a glimpse of the future in the Ring Boulevard: The spectacular next-in-line to the successful 911 GT3 R, which will compete from 2019, will be unveiled at a public press conference. The race will commence on Saturday May 12 at 3:30pm local time (11:30pm AEST) and conclude on Sunday May 13 at 3:30pm local time (11:30pm AEST). The race can be viewed in Australia via live stream, available at www.nuerburgring.de/en/.
The Porsche customer teams in the SP9 class at the Nürburgring 24 Hours
Manthey-Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #911)
Kévin Estre, Romain Dumas, Laurens Vanthoor, Earl Bamber
Manthey-Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #912)
Richard Lietz, Patrick Pilet, Frédéric Makowiecki, Nick Tandy
Manthey-Racing (Porsche 911 GT3 R #12)
Otto Klohs, Lars Kern, Dennis Olsen, Philipp Frommenwiler
Frikadelli Racing Team (Porsche 911 GT3 R #30)
Lance David Arnold, Alexander Müller, Wolf Henzler, Matt Campbell
Frikadelli Racing Team (Porsche 911 GT3 R #31)
Norbert Siedler, Marco Seefried, Felipe Fernández Laser, Mathieu Jaminet
KÜS Team75 Bernhard (Porsche 911 GT3 R #17)
Michael Christensen, Matteo Cairoli, André Lotterer, Jörg Bergmeister
Falken Motorsports (Porsche 911 GT3 R #44)
Klaus Bachler, Sven Müller, Martin Ragginger, Dirk Werner
Gigaspeed Team GetSpeed Performance (Porsche 911 GT3 R #2)
Steve Jahns, Marek Böckmann, Lucas Luhr, Jan-Erik Slooten