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.

Nurburgring 24 Hours: BMW leads, but is chased hard
Start: #20 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3: Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk and #2 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3: Yelmer Buurman, Andreas Simonsen, Adam Christodoulou, Bernd Schneider battle for the lead
#5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3: Abdulaziz Al Faisal, Hubert Haupt, Yelmer Buurman, Jaap van Lagen
#20 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3: Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk in the pits with major damage
#20 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3: Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk in the pits with major damage
#20 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3: Dominik Baumann, Claudia Hürtgen, Jens Klingmann, Martin Tomczyk in the pits with major damage
#19 Schubert Motorsport BMW Z4 GT3: Dirk Müller, Alexander Sims, Dirk Werner, Marco Wittmann

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).

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