About five hours before the race winner will take the chequered flag, the situation with four Mercedes-AMG GT3 vehicles at the front end of the ADAC Zurich 24h Race remained virtually unchanged. The lead with 100 laps completed is held by the Black Falcon #4, followed by Haribo Racing #88, HTP-Motorsport #29 and the second Black-Falcon, #9. Fifth to seventh positions are held by the opponents: The Porsche 911 GT3 R #912 (fifth), the BMW M6 GT3 #23 (sixth) and the Audi R8 LMS #5 (seventh). Meanwhile, the Schubert Motorsport M6 GT3 #100 was forced into retirement. After a collision while lapping another car, the race of Lucas Luhr and the car was overt. The rain forecasted for the night began to fall at 10:30hrs and promises a thrilling closing stage of the race.
1 – Vanthoor / Mies / Müller / Kaffer (Audi R8 LMS)
09:35hrs Driver swap, Laurens Vanthoor for Nico Müller
09:49hrs: Nico Müller describes his accident in the night: “There was oil on the track in the so-called courage corner. Right ahead of me, a car spun and while trying to hit it I lost it myself and hit the crash barriers. We repaired the car and will try to make it to the chequered flag.”
2 – Leonard / Frijns / Sandström / Vervisch (Audi R8 LMS)
08:53hrs Driver swap – Stuart Leonard for Robin Frijns
10:12hrs Pit stop for fuel with driver swap – Sandström for Leonard.
4 – Schneider / Engel / Christodoulou / Metzger (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:12hrs Driver swap Maro Engel for Bernd Schneider
09:29hrs Correction: Driver swap – Adam Christodoulou and not Maro Engel replaces Bernd Schneider in the cockpit.
09:36hrs Christodoulou pits for fuel and tyres. No driver swap.
10:28hrs The race leaders are the first to have completed 100 race laps.
5 – Stippler / Fjordbach / Mortara / Meyr-Melnhof (Audi R8 LMS)
09:49hrs During the pit stop the team works on the rear of the car. Continues after refuelling and tyre change with Edoardo Mortara behind the wheel.
9 – Haupt / Buurman / Engel / Müller (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:01hrs Pits, thus allowing #29 to take the lead.
09:09hrs Pit stop with driver swap – Maro Engel for Yelmer Buurman.
10:22hrs Pit stop for fuel and tyres.
10:26hrs Maro Engel: “A thrilling night in a fantastic atmosphere: the drying track, fog and camp fires all around the circuit. We survived the night without any damages and both our cars are racing at the very top. That’s a great initial situation for the coming hours.”
18 – Farfus / Krohn / Müller / Wittmann (BMW M6 GT3)
08:33hrs Completed a lap as function test. Team Principal Torsten Schubert: “We still have to find out why the engine blew up. We now equipped it with a new engine and will check the car to then demonstrate what would have been possible.”
23 – Sims / Eng / Martin / Werner (BMW M6 GT3)
09:23hrs Pit stop, Dirk Werner for Maxime Martin. Coolant is refilled.
29 – Vietoris / Seefried / Hohenadel / Van der Zande (Mercedes AMG GT3)
09:20hrs Christian Hohenadel for Marco Seefried .
09:54hsr HTP back in the lead. .
10:20hrs Schedule pit stop for tyres and driver swap. Renger Van der Zande for Christian Hohenadel.
33 – Ziegler / Saurenmann / Schmidt (Audi R8 LMS)
10:05hrs G. Tonic for Peter Schmidt.
37 – Jöns / Kane / Holzer / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
09:47hrs Steven Kane: “The conditions in the night were really difficult. The circuit changed lap by lap. Since the repair of the accident-caused damages, our Bentley runs flawlessly and we worked our way up from 101st to 27th position. Let’s see what we can doe in the remaining 5:45 hours.”
38 – Brück / Menzel / Smith / Hamprecht (Bentley Continental GT3)
08:32hrs 30-second stop-and-go penalty for pit-lane speeding.
09:06hrs Christopher Brück: “I drove from 04:00 to 06:45hrs. To drive from the night into the day is just amazing. There still is a long way to go to the finish and our main goal is to defend our 10th place.”
65 – Kroner / Schuhbauer / Dr. Bez / Neuser (Aston Martin Vantage V12)
09:13hrs Driver swap, Heinz-Jürgen Kroner for Wolfgang Schuhbauer
75 – Heyer / Asch / Ludwig / Keilwitz (Mercedes AMG GT3)
10:27hrs Daniel Keilwitz: “Unfortunately we were hampered by several minor problems, in the night and in addition we received a penalty. Consequently wee dropped back slightly but currently everything is running fine and I hoe that it will remain dry. I think that we will be able to make up for some of the lost ground and hope for a top-10 result.”
88 – Alzen / Arnold / Götz / Seyffarth (Mercedes AMG GT3)
10:25hrs Lance David Arnold: “Everything is fine so far. We changed the brake discs in the night as we had vibrations on the front axle. But in the second stint I could push again. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 runs flawlessly and we have got a good rhythm. Now it’s all about finishing without making mistakes.”
100 – Edwards / Klingmann / Luhr / Tomczyk (BMW M6 GT3)
09:33hrs Bad collision with #93. Lucas Luhr gets out. The #100 still had a chance of making it to the podium, but now, the M6 GT3 nearly is a total loss
10:04hrs Lucas Luhr: “We were really fast out there. To hold this position with a brand-new car is something we may be proud of. While I passed a slower car, another driver passed it on the other side and hit my car. For me, it came virtually out of nowhere. After the check, the doc told me that my head was in the same condition as prior to the accident. I don’t really know if this is good or bad news.”
101 – Henkola / Yamauchi / Sandritter / Richardson (BMW M6 GT3)
08:57hrs Driver swap. K. Yamauchi for Max Sandritter.
912 – Lietz / Bergmeister / Christensen / Makowiecki (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
09:24hrs Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser, Porsche Motorsport Director: “At the Nürburgring, surviving the night is of particular importance. We avoided getting involved in any hassle and defended our sixth position. There still are six hours to go – the distance of a WEC race. With another three already contested. This means for us to once again push to the max. Now it counts. It seems as if the will some rain be falling. And it’s a well-known fact that rain is Porsche weather, due to our traction advantage.”
999 – Bouveng / Blomqvist / Krognes / Di Martino (BMW M6 GT3)
09:11hrs Driver swap, Michele Di Martino for Tom Blomqvist