The No. 25 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo of Frederic Vervisch leads the Suzuka 10 Hours heading into the final two hours of the race.
Vervisch holds a 25-second lead over the sister, Absolute Racing-run No. 125 Audi, in what has been a dominant performance for the German manufacturer so far.
An impressive run by Katsumasa Chiyo has put the No. 35 KCMG Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 in third, although like the Audis, have yet to make their second-to-last pit stops.
More than eight cars remain on the lead lap, in what’s been a flat-out race since the last safety car period with four hours to go.
A heavy accident by the No. 27 HubAuto Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 of Nick Cassidy at 130R led to the race’s second Full Course Yellow that ultimately neutralized the field.
While Cassidy climbed back into the heavily damaged Ferrari to bring the car back to the pits, the majority of the leaders took the opportunity to make pit stops, which effectively equalized the others that had been off-sequence from the previous yellow.
The yellow came after the pole-sitting No. 42 Team Schnitzer BMW M6 GT3 was handed a drive-through penalty for not meeting the minimum pit stop time.
A battle then developed for second between Markus Winkelhock and Maro Engel, with the No. 125 Audi ending taking the position with 4 hours and 15 minutes remaining.