Well done, so our comment on the 9th place of the KÜS Team75 Bernhard at the final of the Intercontinental GT Challenge IGTC, which was held on Saturday in South Africa. Our friends of the crew around the two-times Le-Mans-winner and two-times endurance world champion Timo Bernhard has finished the 9 hours of Kyalami with a top-ten placement: Started into the race from place eleven, the Porsche-works drivers Romain Dumas (41) from France, Sven Müller (27) from Mainz (GER) and Dirk Werner (38) from Würzburg (GER) achieved with the Porsche 911 GT3 R, starting nmber 911, the ninth place in the 28-car, high-profile driver field. Especially the last few hours, the fans who actually watched the race live on intercontinentalchallenge.com, were really keen just like our editors.
And the last three hours had it all: The final of the Intercontinental GT Challenge on the legendary course near the South African metropolis of Johannesburg suffered in the final stages under the most difficult conditions. Darkness, thunderstorms and heavy rain as well as numerous slip-ups attracted several yellow and safetycar phases. Nevertheless, the team from the Palatinate Bruchmühlbach-Miesau held practically always in the first third of the field, in the meantime even in fifth place. In the end, at the finale of the unofficial GT World Championship, in which Porsche secured the manufacturer's title and also the driver's title with Dennis Olsen (23) from Norwergen, the second ninth IGTC-place after Spa was written: the victory of the first 9-hours-race of the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit for 37 years picked up the Porsche from Frikadelli Racing.
Let's hear how the drivers of KÜS Team75 Bernhard experienced the Saturday. Let's start with Romain Dumas: "It certainly was not an easy race. Driving in the car was fun, my first stint was really good and fast. For me it was also very special to drive for Timo. Of course, we would all have wished for a better result. The weather and the temperatures did not help. But we finished the race under difficult conditions. Of course you can always do something better, but I am quite satisfied." Sven Müller: "It was a very exhausting race, there was something of everything there - at first it was very hot, towards the end it was thundery with heavy rain, I had aquaplaning at 60 km/h. Finally, it was also a kind of lottery game to find the right strategy!" In the box, says Müller, the guys have lost a little too much time.
"In the end, it was at least enough for ninth place!" Dirk Werner: "We had a bit of a problem with the engine temperature right from the start, too. It's great that Porsche has won both titles, congratulations to Dennis Olsen!" Team Manager Klaus Graf: "On our first trip to South Africa, we finished the race and finished in the top ten. After Spa the second top ten result for us in the IGTC. For us it was a complicated race with the process and the weather situation. In the end there was not quite what we had hoped for. But we have shown that we can keep up. We have to build on that and continue to improve." The course in Kyalami also needs to be optimized, because there has not been much in the past few hours on the monitor.
The boss has the last word, team owner Timo Bernhard: "Ninth place, the same result as in Spa. I think we booked that at the IGTC this year. It was a race with ups and downs. The speed was definitely there. The competition here is extremely close, from our qualification position we already had to fight to get ahead. On the positive side, we came through, did not break anything and gained a lot of experience in our first race on another continent. In the end, maybe even the top five would have been in, so it is just a place in the top ten. The result is not quite right, it's a bit too bad, because it was more in it. But we are particularly pleased that Porsche won the manufacturers' title and also the driver's championship with Dennis Olsen. Congratulations!" We agree with that!