Drama at 23:00hrs. The Frikadelli Racing Team’s Porsche 911 GT3 R (#30) crashes out of the race. Short after the end of the seventh hour, the car of the amateur team that is based in Barweiler, not far from the Nürburgring, doesn’t cross the finish line as expected. Frenchman Patrick Pilet lost it in the Kesselchen and crashed into the crash barriers. It’s unlikely that the car will be able to continue the race. Due to this accident, the 2014 winners, the Team Phoenix Racing Audi R8 LMS (#1), inherited the lead, followed by the BMW Sport Trophy Team Schubert BMW Z4 GT3 (#19). Third position is held by Audi Sport Team WRT (#28). The fastest Porsche is the Falken Motorsport 911 GT3 R (#44).
1 – Haase / Mamerow / Rast / Winkelhock (Audi R8 LMS)
Driver swap: Christopher Haase for Rene Rast.
The leader pits without driver swap.
Pit stop, switches to wets.
2 – Buurman / Simonsen / Christodoulou / Schneider (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
With active support of Adam Christodoulou, the team tries to re-fix the rear wheel out there at the track.
Back on the track after the wheel could be fixed thanks to the help of a Mathol Racing driver.
The lost wheel is back. It made it back to the team earlier than the damaged SLS that still hasn’t made it back to the paddock.
The Mercedes has rejoined the race and currently holds 112th position.
4 – Basseng / Fässler / Rockenfeller / Stippler (Audi R8 LMS)
Pit stop for wets.
6 – Adam / Stanaway / Lauda / Mücke (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
Receives a 1:32-minute time penalty for pit-lane speeding.
7 – Mücke / Turner / Lamy / Stanaway (Aston Martin Vantage GT3)
Driver swap: Lamy for Turner.
8 – Alzen / Holzer / Siedler / Götz (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Marco Holzer is replaced by Norbert Siedler. Holzer: “My stint was quite alright. But under double yellow, when we are supposed to driver at a speed of 60kph, some of the drivers drive at speeds of 30 or 40 kph and make you lose a lot of time.”
Is pushed by the team into the garage, Norbert Siedler gets out. The Mercedes is damaged at the front and the rear.
The Mercedes has to be retired. Siedler: “I lost it on the wet track while accelerating out of the Hohe Acht, spun and crashed into the crash barriers.”
9 – Lauck / Franchitti / Jahn / Mailleux (SCG 003c)
David Jahn is replaced by Franck Mailleux. Jahn: “The last laps on slicks already were rather dangerous as it was extremely slippery.”
The second speeding in one of the speed-limit zones. The ‘reward’: a 3:32-minute time penalty.
10 – Weiss / Kainz / Krumbach / Christensen (Porsche 911 GT3 RSR)
The car is damaged beyond repair and must be retired for good as Michael Christensen crashed into the crash barriers. The team tried hard to repair the Porsche but in the end, they had to give up.
11 – Primat / Brück / Schmid / Seefried (Bentley Continental GT3)
Marco Seefried: “We avoided getting involved in any incidents and therefore, we also didn’t receive any penalties. It slippery in some sections: Fuchsröhre, Bergwerk, Hohe Acht and Brünnchen. Nonetheless, we keep on racing on slicks.”
Brück for Primat. Primat: “Everything works fine. But it partly is difficult to assess the level of wetness on the track. And it goes without saying that you don’t want to take unnecessary risks in these conditions.”
14 – Mayr-Melnhof / Salmon / Ohlsson / Saurenmann (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
Cruises slowly back to the pits. Damages at the left front and rear.
15 – Yoong Loong / Cheng / Lee / Thong (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
Driver swap: Marchy Lee for Franky Cheng.
Receives a 3:32-minute time penalty for the second speeding in a speed-limit zone.
16 – Busch / Busch / Frankenhout (Audi R8 LMS ultra)
Marc Busch for Dennis Busch.
17 – Laser / Cerruti / Edwards / Keilwitz (BMW Z4 GT3)
18 – Walkenhorst / Oeverhaus / Bollrath / Aust (BMW Z4 GT3)
Driver swap: Walkenhorst is replaced by Oeverhaus. Walkenhorst: “A lot of dirt, a lot of lubricants and many yellow flags – but everything is okay as long as the fog stays away. There are camp fires all around the track and you can smell the barbecues. That’s how it has to be.”
19 – Müller / Sims / Werner / Wittmann (BMW Z4 GT3)
Drivers swap: Werner for Wittmann who says: “There were a lot of yellow flags, during the rain-period. The track was particularly slippery between Hohe Acht and Brünnchen and keeping the car on the track was not exactly easy. But apart from that, it was a trouble-free stint.”
20 – Baumann / Hürtgen / Klingmann / Tomczyk (BMW Z4 GT3)
Torsten Schubert: “Jens will go out for a lap, now. But this lap only represents a function test as the repair works have not yet been completed.”
Is retired. Torsten Schubert: “Jens Klingmann was out for a lap but that couldn’t be called driving. The car was just undriveable.”
Team Schubert keeps on trying to repair the car and possibly rejoin the race action.
26 – Farfus / Müller / Catsburg / Adorf (BMW Z4 GT3)
Pits for a scheduled stop and rejoins the race. Farfus stays in the car for another stint.
28 – Mies / Sandström / Müller / Vanthoor (Audi R8 LMS)
Pit stop of the third placed car – no driver swap.
Pit stop: switches to wets.
30 – Schmitz / Huisman / Pilet / Bergmeister (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
The Frikadelli Porsche comes in for an unscheduled tyre change.
Unscheduled stop of Pilet: Technical Director Ulli Lienert: “In our data recordings we could see that the 911 had a slow puncture. We called Pilet in and changed the tyre. He confirmed that the handling of the car was unstable.”
31 – Schmidt / Mattschull / Ehret / Rice (Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3)
Pit stop for fuel and tyres.
35 – Buncombe / Hoshino / Krumm / Ordonez (Nissan GT-R nismo GT3)
Driver swap: Kazuki Hoshino is replaced by Michael Krumm. Team Principal Bob Neville: “We have been racing on slicks all the time.”
44 – Dumbreck / Henzler / Ragginger / Imperatori (Porsche 911 GT3 R)
Driver swap: Henzler for Ragginger who says. “My stint was completely crazy.”
84 – Bleekemolen / Arnold / Menzel / Brück (Bentley Continental GT3)
Pit stop: Christian Menzel stays behind the wheel. Lance David Arnold talks about his stint in the opening stages of the race: “I made a good start and worked my way up from eighth to fourth position. But during the refuelling, the petrol station worked too slowly and we dropped back again. I could make up for a part of the lost ground but then, my team-mate had a problem wit the door.”
Christian Menzel: “I contested my double stint but only three of the laps were fun. It was extremely exhausting as we had countless yellow flags and some of the drivers seem to just not know how to behave in such a situation.”