Polesitter Jeff Westphal led the Nürburgring 24 Hours at the end of hour one in the Traum Motorsport Glickenhaus SCG003, as the first round of pitstops began in earnest.
Wesphal lost the lead to Rene Rast’s No. 9 Audi WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 in traffic at the Stefan Bellof Curve on lap two, but regained the position on lap four exiting a slow zone at the Hatzenbach.
The American then proceeded to defend from a train of Audis headed by Rast, teammate Nico Mueller in the No. 10 WRT, Kelvin van der Linde’s No. 29 Team Land and the No. 5 Phoenix Racing entry of Frank Stippler until each peeled into the pits, leaving Westphal as the only front-running driver able to complete a full eight-lap stint.
After an aggressive start to run third for much of the opening lap, the No. 22 Wochenspiegel Team Monchau Ferrari 488 GT3 driven by Oliver Kanz steadily dropped back to sixth before the stops.
Contact with the No. 59 Manthey Porsche at turn one shortly after leaving the pits caused it to lose several places.
The sister No. 12 Manthey Porsche started by Mathieu Jaminet pitted at the end of the first lap with a loss of power, before rejoining four laps down.
Another car to hit problems early was the No. 18 Audi R8 LMS GT4, making its competition debut in the SPX class.