Nurburgring 24 Hours: Audi duels with BMW
Audi and BMW are battling out the victory in the Nurburgring 24 Hours with five hours remaining.
With 121 laps in the book, Audi leads the way with its #28 WRT-run R8 LMS crewed by Christopher Mies, Edward Sandstrom, Nico Muller and Laurens Vanthoor.
BMW, which controlled the early stages of the race, is now best placed to challenge it. The #25 Marc VDS Z4 of Maxime Martin, Lucas Luhr, Markus Palttala and Richard Westbrook, who is now in the car, is 1m42s in arrears.
Those cars have been swapping the lead during the pitstop cycles.
Audi lost its favourite #1 Phoenix-run machine, which had led for much of the night in the hands of last year’s winners, when Christian Mamerow crashed out.
After the #30 Frikadelli Porsche crashed out of the lead after a collision with the #31 Mercedes at the Karussel before midnight, the Falken-tyred 911 of Peter Dumbreck, Wolf Henzler, Martin Ragginger and Alexandre Imperatori leads Porsche's challenge in third, ahead of the second #26 Marc VDS BMW which started from pole but was delayed by a nighttime pit fire.
That BMW has just set the fastest lap of the race, at 8m18.960s, which shows they are going to charge to the finish.
The #5 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS, which had been right in the hunt for the lead overall, is now the stalking horse of the race and the last of the five cars on the lead lap.
Poor weather conditions in the night have given way to perfect sunny conditions for the final hours.
Nurburgring 24 Hours: Porsche takes lead, then crashes out
Nurburgring 24 Hours: WRT Audi survives fire to win classic race