With five more minutes to go, the podium positions in the 43rd ADAC Zurich 24h Race already seem to be secured. At the same time, the battle for the position at the very front promises to be a real thriller. The top three demonstrated their stayer qualities, while countless rivals had to cope with early retirements. With 19 hours of the race contested, the Audi Sport Team WRT Audi R8 LMS (#28) crosses the line with a 1:42.228-minute lead over the BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 (#25). The Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R (#44) defends third position. In addition to Audi, BMW and Porsche, vehicles of Bentley, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan complete the brand mix in the top 10.
5 – Bin Turki Al Faisal / Haupt / Buurman / van Lagen (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
Scheduled pit stop.
7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
Has battled its way back up to 20th.
Turner for Lamy.
9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
Mailleux for Lauck.
Franchitti for Mailleux. Mailleux: “The car now is running flawlessly, again.”
11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
Pit stop with driver swap: Seefried for Brück.
Christopher Brück: “I have been racing for a total of nine hours, now. It’s really tough and exhausting. The toughest stint was the one in the night – tougher than tough. I don’t think that we can gain positions or will get under pressure. We only try to keep our car on the track.”
Pit stop. Front brakes are changed.
Primat for Seefried who says: “Actually, we weren’t involved in any incidents, so far. But now I had vibrations and feared that we suffered a bearing failure. But fortunately, there just wasn’t enough air in one of the tyres.”
12 – Klohs / Renauer / Schlotter / Richter (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
Scheduled pit stop with driver swap: Richter for Schlotter.
15 – Yoong Loong / Cheng / Lee / Thong (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
Spins in the Bilstein-Kurve
17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
Cerruti for Keilwitz.
18 – Walkenhorst / Oeverhaus / Bollrath / Aust (BMW Z4 GT3)
Aust for Bollrath. Christian Bollrath: “So far, we contested the race without encountering major problems. We have a lot of confidence in the car and all set consistent lap times.”
21 – Schulze / Schulze / Strauß / Tresson (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
During the next stop, the Nissan will have to stand for an extra 32 seconds as the team received a 32-second penalty for having undercut the pit-stop minimum time.
23 – Graf / Hohenadel / Bastian / Jäger (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Scheduled pit stop. Bastian continues.
Graf for Bastian.
25 – Martin / Luhr / Palttala / Westbrock (BMW Z4 GT3)
Lucas Luhr comes in and stays in the car for another stint.
Scheduled pit stop with driver swap: Westbrook for Luhr. The car is refuelled and the brake pads and discs are changed.
Lucas Luhr: “My stint was okay but the top speed of the Audi on the straights makes me thinking. That’s frustrating.”
26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
Catsburg for Müller.
The Marc VDS-BMW crosses the line in 8:18.690 minutes: the new fastest race lap.
Scheduled pit stop, Vanthoor continues.
28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
New fastest race lap: 8:19.728 minutes.
Currently, the gap between the two alternating leaders amounts to about 1:10 minutes. The Audi has got a slight advantages as it regularly completes nine-lap stints while the MarcVDS-BMW (#25) now always pits after eight laps.
Müller for Vanthoor.
Laurens Vanthoor: “We will give our very very best to win the race. We are pushing hard to be able to beat the BMW.”
29 – Thiim / Joens / Kaffer / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
Pit stop. Kaffer continues.
33 – Huff / Heyer / Frommenwiler / Krognes (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Huff for Heyer.
35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
Ordonez for Buncombe.
39 – Baunach / Kaufmann / Rönnefarth / Haezebrouck (Porsche 911 GT3 KR)
Kaufmann for Baunach.
44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Dumbreck for Ragginger.