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Catching Up With.... Olaf Manthey And The Raeder-Brothers

On VLN, FIA WEC & The Merger

A lot is going on at Manthey-Racing these days, in November Porsche announced they would field a factory program in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Olaf Manthey as their teammanager and the team located in Meuspath close to the Nürburgring is also pretty busy preparing their Porsches for the upcoming VLN season. Then shortly before Christmas Olaf Manthey and the Brother Nicolas and Martin Raeder announced they would merge their organisations Manthey-Racing and Raeder-Automotive into one big organisation.

“The past months have been pretty busy with the preparations for the WEC program going on at Weissach, then here at Meuspath we are busy preparing our Porsches  for the upcoming VLN season,” said Olaf Manthey. Joining him at a press table were his new business partners Nicolas and Martin Raeder. “I’ve known them for years now and the first time we really got in touch was when they won the VLN 6 Hours in 2011, beating the stronger GT3 cars with a much slower TT-RS. After that I even got a letter from their mother telling me that this must have felt like a knighthood for them, and after that we got into closer contact. My own son died in a road accident in 2007 and I told Martin’s and Nicki’s mother I would be proud if this would be my sons. I think all three of us are operating at the same wave length.”

“I think the merger improves both organisations, as we all profit from the know how and the personal both teams have assembled over the past months. And some parts of our company are supplemented by some of Olaf’s operations,” said Nicki Raeder. What used to be the Manthey-Racing GmbH, Manthey Motors GmbH and Manthey TZN Gmbh will merge with the Raeder Automotive Gmbh and Raeder Motorsport and will from now be known under Manthey-Racing. “As I am not getting any younger I wanted to start the transition into the future at an early stage so I know my business will be in good hands once I retire. Actually the plan was to cut down on my work hours starting this year, but with our VLN operations and my involvement in the Porsche Factory WEC program I had to scratch this plan. I hope I am able to work flat out in my own rev limiter for another year, “ told Olaf Manthey.

The first topic of discussion was the upcoming WEC Program, where the former DTM Champion will manage the operations of the Porsche Team Manthey.  “In the past decade I was involved in some capacity with the race debuts of most of the Porsche race cars, may it be the 996 GT3 R or the 997 GT3 RSR or GT3 R and often we even scored the first victory. So I am extremely grateful to be involved in the debut and development work of the Porsche 991 RSR.” But Manthey made it also clear that he wasn’t the only one from his Meuspath base to be involved in the world tour with the GTE car: “Nicki for example will be one of the car engineers while Martin helps out with some of the organisation tasks, for example he is helping prepping our garage equipment. And than we have between 4 and 6 mechanics stationed at Weissach, to help work on the cars. Trackside it will be about split even between guys from Meuspath and Weissach. The cars will be fielded from Weissach, that’s because there they are closest to the engineers that are developing the cars and we have a short reaction time for any technical changes. The guys coming from Weissach will be coming out of the GT Department, nobody from the LMP program is involved in our program. Both groups, the GT and the LMP, are currently working flat out on their projects.”

The GTE-machinery will see Marc Lieb, Richard Lietz and Romain Dumas share on car while Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Pilet and Timo Bernhard are slated to drive the second RSR. “I think from the driver sides we are pretty good sorted out all of the drivers have been corner posts of Porsches  works driver program for many years and all are lightning quick. I know the competition will be tough in GTE, none of our competitors have been sleeping over the winter and we are the only one debuting an all new car, which on the one hand is a risk but hopefully with high reward.”

In 2013 the Porsche 911 is celebrating its 50th anniversary and almost since then the cult car has been successful on the race track. “I am always amazed what the engineers at Porsche Motorsport still can squeeze out of a concept that in its base hasn’t changes for half a century. I am really looking forward to return to Le Mans, the last time I fielded a car there was in 1999 and we won the GT class straightaway, I wouldn’t mind to repeat this result in this years edition.”

Besides its WEC program Olaf Manthey and his mechanics are also busy preparing for another assault on the VLN and the 24 Hours Nürburgring-Nordschleife. “We will field our 2012 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR that we raced in the International GT Open in this years VLN season, our famous green and yellow paint scheme will return to the Green Hell after a years absence.

Besides this I will again field the RSR of the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey plus two Cup Porsche for long standing customers. New in my stable is the Porsche 997 GT3 R of Pinta Racing, which will be updated to 2013 Spec, “ revealed Olaf Manthey.

The name of Raeder-Motorsport will also not disappear from the VLN entry list, the team will still field one of their Audi TT-RS with Jürgen Wohlfahrt, Elmar Deegener and Christoph Breuer returning for another season. The trio will switch classes down to the SP3T, where it will surely fight for the championship. “Besides fielding our customer TT-RS we will also give technical support to the other TT-RS customers we had over the year, this will be about 4 to 5 cars, “ Nicki Raeder concluded. 

Soren Herweg