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Land Audi Still Leads After 18 Hours

Di Phillippi, Mies, Winkelhock and van der Linde still in control

In what is turning into a dominant run, the #29 Audi Sport Team Land R8 LMS GT3 leads the race by a minute over the #9 WRT Audi. Kelvin van der Linde, Chris Mies, Connor Di Phillippi and Markus Winkelhock, who have led since the opening hours, continue to run to a pace, gapping the field and maintaining their comfortable lead.

Behind there has been some changes to the running order since the sun has risen over the Nürburgring though, with some of the runners hitting trouble or getting delayed.

The #98 ROWE BMW M6 GT3 of Markus Palttala, Nick Catsburg, Alex Sims and Marc Basseng, which has had a quiet outing thus far, has slotted into third spot. This is because the #43 Schnitzer BMW M6 slipped back to fourth after a puncture in the early morning.

While lapping the #173 LMS Engineering Audi TCR, Antonio Felix da Costa had a rear-right puncture after clipping the Audi, sending it barrel rolling down the hill en route to the Stefan Bellof S.

Da Costa was able to bring the car back in, though it lost valuable time, and eventually third spot after teammate Alex Lynn pitted the car at the end of the next stint. Lynn was taking it easy during his time in the car, with seven and a half hours left, hoping to conserve his set of tyres.

Behind the #43 In fifth is now the #42 Schnizter BMW, which is four and a half minutes off the leader, on the lead lap. As it stands, the top 15 runners are still on the lead lap.

Another car which was in the running, for a podium, but has now slipped back, is the #28 Land Audi, which suffered a puncture that damaged the left-rear wheel arch and engine bay. It’s now down to 21st position, and still being worked on, the team bringing it back in for further work after its initial repair work.

Outside of the SP9 class, the #704 Pole-sitting Traum Glickenhaus is circulating in P12, leading the SPX class, while the #7 Aston Martin GT8 has had an incredible run and is now up to 24th. The SP8 car, has benefited from the misfortune of those around it, and risen up the order courtesy of the effort from drivers Nicki Thiim, Darren Turner, Markus Lungstrass and Peter Cate.

On the weather front, despite forecasts predicting thunderstorms towards the end of the race, it has remained bone dry, and extremely hot. It looks to stay that way until after the race too.

Who would have thought that the drivers wouldn’t have had to brave any wet conditions through VLN 1, VLN 2, the N24 Qualification Race and the entire N24 race week?