Nurburgring 24 Hours: #88 Mercedes leads on Saturday evening

The #88 Haribo Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 leads the Nurburgring 24 Hours after the erstwhile leading #18 Schubert Motorsport BMW M6 GT3 expired

Nurburgring 24 Hours: #88 Mercedes leads on Saturday evening

Torrential rain and hail towards the back end of the circuit caused the race to be red flagged just an hour after the start, with a delay of more than three hours before racing resumed.

An initial 18:00 restart time was planned, but that was soon pushed back by an hour and 20 minutes - before that too was reset after more rain hit the circuit, forcing a further two warm up laps.

The #9 Black Falcon Mercedes started by polesitter Maro Engel did lead the field away when racing was finally allowed to resume, but having led the entirety of the opening hour its time at the front on the restart was short lived, as the #18 BMW in the hands of Jorg Muller went to the front at the first corner.

Muller soon pitted though and instead released the #22 ROWE Racing BMW into the lead.

That soon dropped back though, allowing the #8 Haribo car to assume first place - although that was briefly lost when the #29 Mercedes got by on lap 11, only for the latter car to spin, instead promoting the #88 sister Haribo car to assume second.

The #88 Mercedes was one of the first cars to dive for the pits on lap 13 having worked its way into second, with the #2 WRT Audi, brief leader #29 and the #9 Black Falcon car that had started from pole.

An extended stint allowed the #8 car to pit two laps later, but as a consequence it had to spend more time in the pits.

That allowed the early stopping #18 back ahead, which held a 10-second lead over the #88 Mercedes (which with Jan Seyffarth in turn had jumped its sister car) - before the BMW's engine let go on the Dottinger Hohe straight.

Seyffarth assumed the lead and is more than half a minute clear of the #30 Team HTP-Motorsport Mercedes AMG GT3 with Dominik Baumann at the wheel, with the polesitting #9 car recovering to third to complete a Mercedes lock out.

The sixth-placed #911 Manthey Racing Porsche 911 GT3 R was the best-placed of the non-Mercedes contingent, behind the #8 and and the #29, although its sister #912 car was forced to retire from the race with the team unable to repair damage sustained at the beginning of the race while Nick Tandy was at the wheel.

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Hail and torrential rain halts Nurburgring 24 Hours
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Nurburgring 24 Hours: #29 Mercedes holds narrow lead on Sunday

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