Closer to perfection
DTM Zandvoort: Challenging race weekend for Manthey EMA at the sprint series guest appearance in the Netherlands
DTM | Racing
  • Thomas Preining scores eight championship points with a fourteenth and tenth place at Zandvoort
  • The Austrian is still within striking distance of the championship lead with a 19-point gap
  • Ayhancan Güven experiences a weekend without points despite a strong driving performance, with two retirements due to tyre damage

Zandvoort. Manthey EMA experienced a challenging DTM race weekend in Zandvoort. Thomas Preining (Austria) achieved two top 15 results with a 14th and a tenth place and scored eight important championship points at the DTM's guest appearance in the Netherlands. Ayhancan Güven (Turkey) suffered two unfortunate tyre punctures in both races, leaving him without points in races five and six of the season. Successful pit stops in both races earned the team a total of three points for the championship account of the fastest pit stops. 

Thomas Preining started the first race on the 4.259-kilometre dune circuit on the Dutch North Sea coast from 14th position, but the Austrian lost several positions in the early stages and dropped back to last place. Meanwhile, Ayhancan Güven improved his position from sixteenth to fifteenth. A strategic overcut during the pit stop window and a quick tyre change enabled the two drivers to make up positions, so that they returned to the track in 12th (car number 90) and 13th (car number 91) place respectively. Güven initially defended his twelfth place, but suffered a puncture on the penultimate lap and had to bring his nine-eleven to the pits. Preining crossed the line in 14th place and scored two championship points.

Due to the pre-test for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the DTM race weekend was characterised by an unusual schedule. Qualifying for Sunday's race took place on Friday evening. Due to traffic on the track, Ayhancan Güven was unable to set a fast lap with the tyres in the optimum temperature window. As a result, he put the Porsche 911 GT3 R with starting number 90 in 18th place on the grid for the second race. Thomas Preining finished in sixth place. Due to the blocking of another car, the number 91 car was moved back five places on the grid to eleventh. The race began with a turbulent start phase in which car number 90 dropped back to last place after contact with another car. Following a red phase triggered by an accident and fluids on the track, Güven was able to move up two positions. However, a slow puncture on the right rear wheel on lap eleven led to the Turkish driver's premature retirement. After Preining entered the pit lane in fourteenth place immediately after the pit stop window opened and the team managed a successful undercut, the Austrian fought numerous tough battles for positions nine and ten in the second half of the race. He finally crossed the finish line in tenth place. Six championship points also meant the 22nd consecutive race with points for the 2023 DTM Champion. 

"We travelled to Zandvoort with the aim of building on our strong weekend at the Lausitzring. Unfortunately, the races didn't go the way we wanted. Now we can only look forward. Both drivers did very well. Thomas drove very strong races, especially on Sunday. It's a shame that he only got tenth place with such a good performance. Unfortunately, Ayhancan was unlucky twice with tyre damage through no fault of his own. His performance at the wheel was much better than the result reflects. He made a big step forward and doesn't deserve to go home empty-handed. Once again I can only praise the team's performance. Our preparation, strategy and pit stops were very good and I'm proud of that. Now we don't want to get discouraged by the result and want to give it our all again at the Norisring,' says Nicolas Raeder, Managing Director of Manthey Racing GmbH. 

After the third race weekend of the season, Manthey EMA is in seventh place in the DTM team standings with 73 points. Thomas Preining is fourth in the drivers' standings with 63 points, while Ayhancan Güven is 19th with ten championship points.

The next DTM race will take place from 5 to 7 July 2024 in Nuremberg at the Norisring, the only street circuit of the DTM season. Before that, Manthey's racing calendar includes the traditional 24 Hours of Le Mans on 15 June.

Quotes on the DTM race weekend at Zandvoort:

Ayhancan Güven, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90: "The weekend at Zandvoort is over – unfortunately no points for me. From the beginning of the week we didn't have the performance to fight at the front like at the Lausitzring. On Saturday I was running in a solid P12 but had a puncture two laps from the end. On Saturday I had a slow puncture after three laps. I think they were completely different punctures, so not the same problem. We need to analyse today's problem in particular, because a puncture so early in the race is not normal. An unfortunate result, but I'm looking forward to the Norisring."

Thomas Preining, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91: "It was a difficult weekend for us. The car was actually a dream again and it was really fun to drive, especially in qualifying. Unfortunately, that wasn't reflected in the results and the pace was lacking. On Saturday we had an additional 20 kilograms of success ballast, which didn't make it any easier. That was no longer the case on Sunday and things went better. In the end, however, we were only able to make up positions thanks to the strong performance of the engineers in terms of strategy and the pit crew during the pit stops."


Results DTM Race 1 at Zandvoort:

14th Thomas Preining, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91
DNF Ayhancan Güven, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90

Results DTM Race 2 at Zandvoort:

10th Thomas Preining, Porsche 911 GT3 R #91
DNF Ayhancan Güven, Porsche 911 GT3 R #90

DTM Race Calendar 2024:

26.04. - 28.04.2024 Oschersleben Motorsport Arena
24.05. - 26.05.2024 DEKRA Lausitzring
07.06. - 09.06.2024 Circuit Zandvoort / NL
05.07. - 07.07.2024 Norisring
16.08. - 18.08.2024 Nürburgring
06.09. - 08.09.2024 Sachsenring
27.09. - 29.09.2024 Red Bull Ring / A
18.10. - 20.10.2024 Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg