For ten years, the Team Wochenspiegel and Manthey-Racing had joined forces to compete in the VLN endurance championship. “Now, the time has come to go our own separate ways”, said Wochenspiegel team director Georg Weiss at the VLN season finale on the 22nd of October. “I wish to launch another project and make a fresh start. We finish our cooperation in a friendly manner and I wish to thank Manthey-Racing for the fantastic teamwork throughout the past ten years.”
The drivers in the Wochenspiegel Team Manthey (WTM) Porsche at its last appearance were of course Georg Weiss, Oliver Kainz and Jochen Krumbach, the regular team that has been working together so well over many years. They were again supported by Mike Stursberg who had regularly joined the team as fourth driver since the beginning of the year and they all presented a strong farewell performance. In difficult weather conditions, they drove the Wochenspiegel-Porsche, which did not show any scratch at the finish, over the distance and into eighth overall position.
Kainz who started the race from twelfth position on the grid was not able to make up places. “A lot of things went wrong in my stint. I did not manage to warm up the tyres in the first laps because there was too much water on the track”, said Kainz who could not find a way to get past the Bentley Continental of the Team Abt until he came to the pits.
While some of the other competitors had already decided to change to slick tyres at this moment, Krumbach took over the steering wheel and started his part on the used rain tyres which finally turned out to be the right strategy. “I could attack and had a good pace”, said Krumbach who moved up into eighth place and kept cool despite the emotions which slowly came up. “I’ve had eight wonderful years with Manthey-Racing and we have achieved many good results. A great time which will now come to an end – I had tears in my eyes.”
More than an eighth place, which Stursberg and Weiss defended until the finish line, was not possible at this last performance of the WTM-Porsche. “All’s well that ends well”, said Weiss. “We can look back onto ten years together with Manthey-Racing, we experienced many successes in this time, but also some bitter defeats. We have shared these experiences, we have jointly suffered and celebrated. It was really a great time with a highly trustful cooperation.” Yet, the team manager did not want to release any details on the new project of the Wochenspiegel team.