Michael Roock and Uwe Alzen are class winners again, winning the GTS class for vehicles in the 1972 to 1981 Plateau/Grid in the famous 24-hour Le Mans Classic for the second consecutive time. Driving the same #67 Porsche 911 RSR 3.0, Porsche specialist Michael Roock from Leverkusen and racing professional Uwe Alzen celebrated a convincing class victory at the same location two years ago. This victory came exactly two decades after Roock Racing won the GT2 classification in the 1996 Le Mans 24 Hours almost from a standing start. This brilliant achievement brought the Porsche customer team from the Rhineland international recognition, which continues to this day.
“Uwe posted a fabulous time with our Porsche in qualifying, which caused a sensation,” Michael Roock emphasised. “A lap of 4m30.210s on the 13.6-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures is awesome.” The first of three one-hour races for the German duo started on Saturday at 23h00, and during the night, Alzen drove the RSR singlehandedly.
When the team identified a problem with the clutch, they changed the gearbox as a precaution before it went onto the track at 07h00 on Sunday morning and then again at 15h00 for the grand finale. “The spare ‘box had a slightly longer transmission ratio, which allowed us to spare the engine on the long full throttle sections where we can reach up to 265km/h. The legendary circuit is a great challenge, especially the super-fast Porsche curves where it is very difficult to pick the ideal line precisely. Experience also plays an important role.”
Uwe Alzen and Michael Roock share a long common history. In the early 1990s, the man from Betzdorf started his professional career with the Leverkusen racing team and together they won the 1994 Porsche Supercup. The ‘green hell’ specialist is also very familiar with Le Mans as in 1998, he finished second overall as a Porsche works driver in the 911 GT1.
The racing car that Roock and Alzen drove again at the weekend also boasts plenty of Le Mans experience. The Porsche 911 RSR powered by a 3.0 litre six-cylinder boxer engine, of which only 52 were built, competed in the endurance classic 42 years ago (1976) with Clemens Schickentanz, among others, behind the wheel. Schickentanz, the motorsport legend from Coesfeld, had already secured the European championship title for GT cars with this precise car. However, damage to the drive shaft at Le Mans led to the premature end after just 74 laps.
Driving a second Porsche 911 from Roock Sportsystem, also #67, racing professional Claudia Hürtgen, finished sixth in the class up to two litres (1966 – 1971). She even maintained the lead for a long time, but after a spin by one of her driving partners, the team dropped back. Built in 1968, the particularly light 2-litre 911 T/R is one of only 30 vehicles of this type. She participated three times in the Le Mans 24 Hours between 1969 and 1971.
Edited by: Glen Smale
Images by: Virtual Motorpix/Glen Smale & Tebernum Motorpsort