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DTM Oschersleben

Manthey on Porsche defending DTM title: “Don’t think they’ll allow that”

Manthey EMA is unsure if Porsche will be ‘allowed’ to defend its titles in the DTM this year, as the squad prepares for this weekend’s opening round of the season at Oschersleben.

Thomas Preining, Manthey EMA Porsche 911 GT3-R

Porsche romped to a DTM championship treble in only its second season in the category last year, as it swept the drivers, teams and the manufacturers’ titles with Thomas Preining and the Manthey EMA team.

The feat was particularly impressive as Porsche faced all three of its main German rivals, Audi, BMW and Mercedes, plus Italian supercar manufacturers Ferrari and Lamborghini, in a six-way fight for glory.

The result also marked a winning start to Manthey EMA’s foray into the DTM, having joined the ADAC-run category at the start of 2023 to replace SSR Performance as Porsche’s primary team.

But Manthey founder and consultant Olaf Manthey doesn’t think a repeat of its 2023 success is possible this year, as he hinted politics could play a role in determining the outcome of the championship.

"I don't think we'll be allowed to do it again," the 69-year-old told Autosport's sister title Motorsport-Total.com. "It always has to be well mixed.

"That's the idea of the BoP [Balance of Performance], to bring the different makes together so that you have a good sporting show where everyone can take part and that's the right thing to do.

"However, we have to observe how things develop over the course of the year. And then we'll have to see where we end up."

Last year, Porsche was represented by a total of six cars in the DTM, as Manthey EMA, Team Bernhard and Toksport WRT all entered a pair of 911 GT3 Rs for a mix of factory and non-factory drivers.

However, following Toksport WRT’s withdrawal and Team Bernhard’s decision to focus only on one-make championships, Manthey EMA is left as the sole Porsche team in the 2024 DTM season.

That means there will be just two cars from Stuttgart brand this year, one for defending champion Preining and the other for Ayhancan Guven, who has moved across from Team Benhard to replace Ford-bound Dennis Olsen.

Asked if Porsche faces a political disadvantage by having only one team and two cars in the category, Manthey said: "A few other manufacturers have a few more cars in the championship.

“And as it is the same in other championships with BoPs, I believe that you want to mix it up well and that everyone has a turn [at winning].”

Manthey’s comments follow repeated allegations that Porsche received a favourable BoP in the DTM last year, especially at the Hockenheim finale where Preining won both races to seal the title.

In particular, former Formula 1 and DTM driver Ralf Schumacher, whose son David raced for Winward Mercedes last year, claimed Porsche was “better off than it should have been” in the title decider.

But the Manthey founder refuted those allegations, saying: "Maybe you should go into the lap time analysis, what we drove at what time and what the others drove at what time.

"Then you can come to a common denominator relatively quickly and can't actually make such statements if you use your head, because I don't really think it makes sense to just throw something into the room like that."

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