Christopher Haase charged to the front of the Nürburgring 24 in the opening laps after a restart following a lengthy overnight red flag for poor weather conditions.
Haase overtook Frank Stippler, whose car led going into the red flag at 10:30 p.m. last night, before hunting down and taking race leader Rene Rast down the Dottinger Hohe.
Rast had himself taken the lead at the start of the second lap after the restart with a move on Stippler heading out of Turn 1, before Haase closed in later on that tour.
Haase entered the red flag 18 seconds down on Kelvin van der Linde, who swapped with Rast during the stoppage, and a further seven seconds behind erstwhile leader Dries Vanthoor in the Phoenix-run machine with Stippler at the helm on Sunday morning.
Rast’s Audi owes a 32-second time penalty at its next pit stop for van der Linde disrespecting flag signals during one of his earlier stints.
In fourth heading into the final seven hours was Maro Engel, who overtook the BMW M6 GT3s of Sheldon van der Linde and Alexander Sims shortly after the restart.
Engel was at the wheel of highest-placed Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, the No. 6 car entered by Haupt Racing Team, and being pursued by KCMG Porsche driver Dennis Olsen.
Then came the Schnitzer BMW of Sheldon van der Linde, ahead of Maxime Martin in Frikadelli Racing Team’s No. 31 Porsche and Sims in the No. 99 ROWE BMW.
The red flag, which came in treacherous conditions after seven hours of racing, lasted almost 10 hours.