With 12 hours remaining in the 2017 Nürburgring 24 Hours, the #29 Audi Sport Team Land Audi of Connor Di Phillippi, Kelvin van der Linde, Chris Mies and Markus Winkelhock leads by a minute and a half over the chasing pack. The #29 has led the race for the past eight hours.
Behind van der Linde aboard the Land Audi at the half, the #9 WRT Audi R8 with Robin Frijns at the wheel sits second, with the #28 sister Land Audi third.
The best of the BMWs sits fourth, with Alex Lynn in the middle of a double stint, two and a half minutes off the leading Audi, which continues to edge away. Lynn though, is just a handful of seconds behind Mies in the #28 Land Audi ahead.
Completing the top five in the running order is the #98 ROWE Racing BMW, which continues to stay within striking distance.
For Mercedes, the #50 HTP AMG GT3 represents its closest challenger to the leading pack, down in sixth place.
After a really frenetic opening six hours, the race calmed down as night fell over the Nürburgring, with the front-runners settling into a rhythm, the cars above emerging as challengers.
At this stage, despite the positions at the top changing rarely, it’s still by no means settled, with Audi, BMW and Mercedes all having cars in with a shot at the win; the forecast for the final hours looking bleak.
Of the many incidents causing lengthy barrier repairs in the darkness, the front-runners mostly stayed out of trouble. The only major player with a notable issue being the #42 Schnitzer BMW, which lost a lot of time in the pits with a fuel pump issue. The car is now down to 11th, and using a different fuel pump at each stop.
At the end of the 12th hour, the leader did however lose some time, van der Linde bringing the R8 in early after a slow in-lap, causing the first lead change of the past eight hours of racing. Frijns took the lead, but only briefly, the WRT team pitting the #9 R8 on the next lap.
Outside of the SP9 runners, the best of the rest is the Pole-sitting #704 Glickenhaus down in 16th overall, still recovering after it lost time for repairs to the rear-right corner in the opening hours.