Two cars have crashed out of the Nürburgring 24 lead in quick succesion, dramatically dropping both TF Sport and ROWE Racing out of the overall mix in the eighth hour.
The leading TF Sport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 went off around Schwalbenschwanz with Nicki Thiim at the wheel, during the out lap of a double stint on new soft tires for the Dane.
Thiim told Sportscar365 that it felt like his car struck a patch of oil whilst trying to turn into the right-hander before the Dottinger Hohe.
The 2019-20 FIA World Endurance GT champion then parked TF’s car at the left-hand side of the road, at the start of the long straight that leads toward the pit area.
Thiim had a spin approaching the same section in the second hour, which dropped TF Sport from the lead to third before Maxime Martin returned the Aston squad to the front.
The eighth-hour crash promoted Sheldon van der Linde, who was about half a minute behind Thiim, into the lead aboard ROWE Racing’s sole remaining BMW M4 GT3.
However, only a few minutes after the Aston went off, van der Linde’s car clattered the right-side barriers at Bergwerk.
TF Sport had led the race since the three and a half hour mark, courtesy of Maxime Martin’s charge to the head of the field.
It had been chased through sunset and into the nighttime period by the No. 98 ROWE BMW, which was the 2020-winning team’s remaining hope in the race after the No. 99 was eliminated through earlier contact with the Toksport WRT Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The lead now stands with Frederic Vervisch in the No. 15 Audi Sport Team Phoenix entry.
Vervisch holds a 16-second lead over Maximilian Goetz in the No. 3 GetSpeed Performance Mercedes-AMG GT3 Evo.
After making its latest off-sequence pit stop, the Schubert Motorsport BMW driven by Alexander Sims has cycled into third, splitting the two GetSpeed Mercedes-AMGs.
Sims has 54 seconds to make up to reigning DTM champion Goetz, and more pressingly has Maro Engel in the No. 4 GetSpeed car for close company with 16 and a half hours to go.