Nurburgring 24 Hours: BMW leads, but is chased hard
With a sixth of the race distance in the book, the polesitting #26 Marc VDS BMW Z4 continues to lead the Nurburgring 24 Hours.
The car – crewed by Augusto Farfus, Jorg Muller, Nicky Catsburg and Dirk Adorf – slipped to third in the early stages, regaining the lead at the end of the first hour.
They then swapping it with the #5 Black Falcon Mercedes SLS, which qualified down in 18th crewed by Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman, Jaap van Lagen and Abdulaziz Al Faisal.
The Mercedes took the lead with a great pass at Veedol chicane for lead just before 3-hour point, but has since slipped to the bottom of the top six with its slowest driver at the wheel.
The #1 Phoenix Audi – featuring Christopher Haase, Christian Mamerow, Rene Rast and Markus Winkelhock – has emerged as a strong threat, along with the #30 Frikadelli Porsche of Sabine Schmitz, Patrick Huisman, Patrick Pilet and Jorg Bergmeister.
The second Black Falcon Mercedes, the #2 car of Buurman, Andreas Simonsen, Adam Christodoulou and Bernd Schneider was embroiled in a huge battle on track for fourth with the #19 Schubert BMW of Dirk Muller, Alexander Sims, Dirk Werner and Marco Wittmann.
But a left-rear corner failure appears to have just put the #2 car out.
BMW also lost one of its main bullets when the #20 Schubert Z4 that led for much of the opening hour crashed out in the hands of Claudia Hurtgen at Plantzgarten 2 during a heavy rain shower.
It came back to the pits with heavy damage to its right-front corner (pictured left).
Bentleys to start Nurburgring 24-Hour from P8 and P20
Nurburgring 24 Hours: Porsche takes lead, then crashes out