Frikadelli Racing Team continued to close in on a historic Nürburgring 24 victory for Ferrari despite the lead gap going back under two minutes with two hours remaining.
Nicky Catsburg was just under two minutes clear of Marco Wittmann in the No. 98 ROWE Racing when he pitted with two hours and 14 minutes left on the clock to conclude a double stint in the No. 30 Ferrari 296 GT3.
David Pittard took the reins of the Ferrari, which held a commanding upper hand throughout Sunday morning but saw its advantage swing underneath the two-minute margin when Dries Vanthoor gained ground on Catsburg during the 21st hour.
It broke a five-hour spell in which Frikadelli had been more than two minutes up the road from its nearest challenger.
Wittmann was close enough to move into the lead when the Frikadelli driver swap occurred, although his ROWE BMW would need to come in two laps later.
That stint length difference is set to give ROWE Racing a shorter final pit stop than Frikadelli, although the Ferrari’s pace has been strong throughout the contest.
With 22 hours completed, Raffaele Marciello was third for Mercedes-AMG Team Bilstein which had a minute in hand to Mercedes-AMG Team GetSpeed.
The Haupt Racing Team-prepared Bilstein car asserted itself in a podium position at the start of the 19th hour when Luca Stolz powered past Fabian Schiller exiting the Goodyear hairpin on the Grand Prix loop.
Matteo Cairoli sat in fifth for Porsche squad Rutronik Racing, with Patric Niederhauser sixth in the best of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo IIs from Land-Motorsport.