Audi Sport Team WRT remains out front, in what’s turned into a three-way battle for the win with six hours remaining in the Nürburgring 24.
The No. 1 Audi R8 LMS of Christopher Mies, Edward Sandstrom, Nico Mueller and Laurens Vanthoor holds a one-minute lead over the No. 25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS BMW Z4 GT3 in second.
Vanthoor has extended his gap over VDS entry in the last hour, with Lucas Luhr struggling to match the outright pace of the debuting Audi.
The two cars exchanged the lead through the early morning hours, with the third-placed No. 44 Falken Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R also having enjoyed time out front, but now more than four minutes behind.
The No. 5 Black Falcon Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 and No. 26 Marc VDS BMW complete the top-five overall, although both are nearly one lap behind.
While the overnight hours saw numerous race-ending accidents, there was only one significant incident in the most recent quarter of the race.
Oil laid down at Klostertal resulted in a five-car accident, which collected the No. 4 Phoenix Audi and No. 007 Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3 of Stefan Muecke.
While the Audi retired, the Aston continued after losing nearly one hour due to repairs.
It was a tough morning for the British manufacturer, which saw its No. 006 Vantage GT3 retire due to driveline issues.