This year’s Nürburgring 24 Hours was looking like an easy home race for Manthey Racing, with two Porsche 911 GT3 Rs in first and second place mere moments before. Their shop’s just down the road, man. They’ll do fine! Sadly, their No. 911 Porsche driver Romain Dumas just crashed at Pflanzgarten with just under 14 hours to go. Oops.
[Full disclosure: I’m here as Porsche’s guest for the weekend, where they paid for travel, lodging and food. This is one of their cars eating it in spectacular fashion.]
Dumas, a Porsche factory driver and two-time Le Mans overall winner, lost control after hitting oil off-line while trying to avoid a slower car.
On top of that, the No. 911 was slapped witha 3.32-minute penalty for disregarding a slow “code 60” zone on track. Code 60s are thrown to slow drivers down to 60 kph in a given sector whenever there’s a major incident on track, much like a traditional yellow flag.
The No. 4 Black Falcon Mercedes-AMG GT3 briefly inherited the lead right after overtaken the lead. It just probably won’t be a 1-2 for them anymore if they keep that lead. If. Big if. Rain is on the way—we’re seeing big lighting bolts from the track now—and that will bring all kinds of chaos on a pollen-and-car-offal-coated Nürburgring.
UPDATE [8:24 p.m. ET]: Dumas’ teammate Kévin Estre confirmed that it was oil, not dirt as many translated race notes were mentioning. The onboard he posted shows a distinct black trail on the track surface that certainly looks like oil, so this has been amended above.