Only twelve minutes before the halfway mark, the Nürburgring 24 saw a new leader. It was the No. 20 Team Schubert BMW Z4.
Along with the No. 22 Rowe Racing Mercedes, the small hours of the race saw a gradual eroding of the strong lead earlier in the race of the No. 4 Phoenix Audi, which remains in third place. Part of the No. 4’s delay was being caught up in Code 60 slow zone for an extended period, which allowed others on the same lap to accordion forward.
There was a change just before halfway in the SP Pro class. Although there are only two cars in this GT2-style class, the No. 3 Manthey Porsche RSR and the No. 53 Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA Codex X had been waging a battle all night long, usually on the same lap. It suddenly turned very much in the direction of the German car when the Japanese team had a long stop.
The SP Pro battle is being waged in 15th-16th place overall with the best SP7 car only a few spaces back.
At halftime it was the No. 56 Black Falcon Porsche, now a lap clear of the Teichmann entry, the No. 67 Teichmann Racing 997 GT3 Cup.
Nine other class leaders were circulating within the top 50 overall at the 12-hour point. These are as follows:
SP8 class, No. 48 Gazoo Racing Lexus LFA
SP3T, No. 118 works Subaru WRX
SP4T, No. 110 Beaplast Audi TT RS
SP10, No. 94 Mathol Racing Aston Martin Vantage and the only one of this group involved in a tight contest, the ProSport Performance Porsche tenaciously hanging on to second place.
In V6, the VLN series classes, were headed by the No. 167 Aesthetic Racing Porsche Carrera. Next came the two single-marques classes. The all BMW M325i Cup 2 class had the No. 308 Adrenalin Motorsport entry while the No. 250 Kissling Motorsport Toyota GT86 had Cup 1 in hand.
The night was marked by a series of significant retirements up and down the field. Most importantly, both of the Marc VDS BMWs are gone. Marco Wittmann crashed the No. 25 Z4 GT3 in the No. 51 Lexus—accounts differ as to the cause, but both cars would soon retire.
The Jota Racing Mazda MX-5 was hit by the No. 14 Black Falcon Mercedes, punting Wolfgang Kaufmann off the Adenau Bridge.
While the Mercedes was able to continue it later went off the road by itself. The No. 30 Nismo Nissan and the No. 66 Dörr Motorsport McLaren went into retirement as did the No. 87 Bonk Motorsport BMW M3 and the No. 201 Toyota Cup car.
There was also a bit of redemption. The No. 23 Rowe Mercedes, which crashed in the opening hours was rebuilt. By halfway it climbed into the top 20 overall.