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Nürburgring Endurance

Leading HRT Mercedes Crashes Out of Contention

Heavy accident for race leader Manuel Metzger takes out one of the pre-N24 favorites…

Image: ADAC TOTAL 24H Rennen

Haupt Racing Team’s No. 4 Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo, which was one of the favorites heading into the Nürburgring 24, has crashed out of contention late in the fifth hour.

Manuel Metzger had extended his lead over Maximilian Goetz in the No. 9 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes to over a minute when he went off at the small Karussell.

Onboard footage showed the car get unsettled coming out of the left-hander before spearing to the right and into the barriers.

Onboards from other cars passing the scene of the accident showed heavy front-end damage to the pole-sitting No. 4 Mercedes, while Metzger was uninjured.

The accident has returned the GetSpeeed Performance Mercedes, which headed the opening part of the race with Raffaele Marciello and then Fabian Schiller at the wheel, into the overall lead.

It also helps the Audi Sport crews that have been gradually moving into contention from their starting positions outside the top 10.

Following Metzger’s crash Dries Vanthoor moved the No. 1 Phoenix Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo up to second, ahead of Kelvin van der Linde in Land-Motorsport’s No. 29 car.

Both drivers jumped into their respective Audis after making the journey from Zandvoort where they were competing earlier this afternoon in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS Sprint Cup.

HRT’s accident will bring back memories of a similar crash that ended the race for Metzger and two of his 2020 co-drivers Maro Engel and Adam Christodoulou.

Christodoulou was leading after a dominant first five hours for the then-Black Falcon squad when he tangled with a Toyota GR Supra, resulting in terminal damage to his AMG.

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

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