The Nürburgring 24 has been placed under red flag conditions after seven hours due to heavy rain and standing water around the Nordschleife.
The 48th running of the Eifel enduro has been put on hold and will not restart until 8 a.m. CEST (2 a.m. EST) at the earliest, according to the event organizers.
A wet track surface has been around since the start of the race at 3:30 p.m, and while a dry line briefly emerged at one stage in the late afternoon the rain quickly intensified before reaching its height at around 10 p.m.
Several cars had off-track moments in the worst of the conditions, including leader Dries Vanthoor who bounced across the infield grass at Kallenhard after going off-line, and Christopher Haase who had a spin in his second-placed Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo.
At the red flag, Vanthoor was leading in the No. 1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix car by 17.9 seconds from Kelvin van der Linde in the No. 29 Audi Sport Team Land machine.
Van der Linde was overtaken by Christopher Haase for second in the seventh hour but the South African got back in front when his fellow Audi factory ace in the Audi Sport Team Car Collection car rotated on the approach to Hatzenbach.
Haase was only a second behind van der Linde when the red flag occurred.
The Audis assumed the lead after six and a half hours when Raffaele Marciello spun his GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo out of contention at Kallenhard.
This represented a capitulation of the two Mercedes entries that had dominated the opening four hours of the race, following on an earlier accident for Manuel Metzger in the No. 4 HRT car which was the manufacturer’s other primary contender.
At the red flag, Alexander Sims was fourth in the No. 99 ROWE Racing BMW M6 GT3, two minutes behind Haase but ahead of Earl Bamber in KCMG’s No. 18 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Then came Martin Tomczyk for BMW Team Schnitzer, Kim Luis Schramm for Phoenix Racing and Maro Engel in the No. 6 HRT Mercedes-AMG.
Engel is registered to drive the No. 6 car, despite his other HRT Mercedes entry crashing out from the lead near the end of the fifth hour.
In the other classes, Dan Harper led SP8T as the highest-placed GT4 competitor, in the BMW Junior Team-backed No. 73 Walkenhorst Motorsport BMW M4 GT4.
Harper was in 26th overall at the time of the stoppage and one lap clear of the BMW M4 GT4 that led SP10 with Michael Fischer behind the wheel.
27th in the order was the TCR-leading Honda Civic TCR of Tiago Monteiro, Esteban Guerrieri, Markus Oestreich and Dominik Fugl.
Marvin Dienst headed up the SP7 category for Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsports, while Michael Reban led CUP 3 in Black Falcon’s No. 306 Porsche Cayman 982 GT4 CS in 20th.
CUP-X had the No. 111 Teichmann Racing KTM X-BOW GT4 out front in 32nd position.