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Nürburgring Endurance

BMW Takes Lead as Rain Returns for Closing Stages

No. 99 ROWE BMW ahead after leading Audi stays for extra lap on slicks with rain arriving…

Photo: BMW

BMW took the lead of the Nürburgring 24 from Audi as ROWE Racing’s No. 99 BMW M6 GT3 made a quick response to switch to wet-weather tires when the rain returned with just under two hours remaining

Frank Stippler was leading in the No. 1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix car from Audi Sport Team Car Collection’s Christopher Haase when the rain rolled in and the track became wet.

Conditions had been improving continuously since the 48th running of the Nürburgring 24 restarted from an overnight red flag with seven hours to go.

The front-runners switched to drying wet and cut slick compounds at different times, shaking up the order at the front with between five and four hours left on the clock.

With three hours remaining full slicks were the compound of choice, with Mirko Bortolotti leading in the Car Collection No. 3 Audi from the No. 99 ROWE BMW of Nick Yelloly.

The ROWE car was never more than 10 seconds behind, and when the rain came back with just under two hours to as Catsburg, in for Yelloly, dived in for a switch to treaded rubber.

Haase, who had taken over from Bortolotti, stayed out for an extra lap which cost his slick-shod Car Collection Audi in the long run and gave Catsburg a 50-second advantage.

The gap came down over the course of the penultimate hour but Catsburg still led from Haase, Dries Vanthoor in the No. 1 Phoenix Audi and Augusto Farfus in the No. 42 BMW from Team Schnitzer.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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