Mercedes-AMG’s challenge in the Nürburgring 24 took a major dent as the manufacturer lost a leading car for the second time following an incident for Raffaele Marciello.
Midway through the seventh hour, the Italian driver hit trouble at the left-hander before Kallenhard during his out-lap and was lacking stability in his GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo when he spun around at the following right-hand turn.
Marciello parked up on the exit of Kallenard, while the cause of the incident is currently unknown.
This incident promoted the three factory-supported Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evos into first, second and third with Dries Vanthoor running 20 seconds ahead of Kelvin van der Linde and Christopher Haase a further five and a half seconds behind.
Marciello had been the star of the opening two hours, taking the lead on the first lap and building a minute-plus lead over the HRT Mercedes of Maro Engel in wet conditions.
HRT swapped into the lead during the third round of pit stops when Florian Schiller kept GetSpeed’s car out for an extra lap, resulting in a longer service, but the No. 4 Mercedes retired shortly after when Manuel Metzger crashed at the small Karussell.
This put GetSpeed back into the lead with Maximilian Goetz running about a minute ahead of Vanthoor in the No. 1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix machine.
Goetz handed the bright yellow Mercedes-AMG back over to Marciello in the seventh hour but the returning first driver spun out of contention on his first lap out of the pits.
The highest-placed Mercedes-AMG after GetSpeed’s incident was the No. 6 HRT car in eighth with Maro Engel at the wheel.