Aston Martin Racing led the 2013 Nurburging 24 Hours at the three hour mark, Darren Turner having taken the lead away from the Phoenix Racing in a high speed move on the Dottinger Hohe.
The Aston had led before Turner got behind the wheel. Allan Simonsen had been the first to put the Bilstein sponsored car to the top spot, moving up from fourth to second following the completion of the first round of scheduled pitstops.
He moved past the early stopping ROWE Racing #22 Mercedes SLS and the #1 G-Drive by Phoenix Audi on consecutive laps to move into second before cleaving time from the lead before making a pass approaching the kink at the end of the long Dottinger Hohe straight, though it owed as much to the Audi driver Michael Ammermuller backing off through the flat out left hander.
Simonsen only led one lap before making stopping again, Darren Turner replacing him in the cockpit, though when the #4 made its own second stop it was the Audi that emerged ahead. However, helped by some areas of slow running under yellow flags guarding barrier repairs after earlier accidents Turner was able to pull off a move to get back into the lead, completing the pass before going through the kink.
The #4 was still second at the end of the third hour, though the #1 Audi effectively run by the same Phoenix team was gaining time. Marc VDS’ #26 BMW was fourth, with Manthey Racing’s Porsche the best from the Stuttgart marque in fifth. The position of best Porsche had been held by the #11 Frikadelli Porsche. However a long pitstop knocked the team – that includes Porsche works driver Patrick Pilet and Sabine Schmitz – from the top 20 overall.
Back in the top 20 after first hour problems was the #20 BMW Team Schubert Z4. The earlier incident had been when Uwe Alzen in the #19 hit the rear of the #20 ahead. While the 20 was returned to the race with minimal delay there was steering damage to the #19 which was pulled back into the garage.
Behind the best of the Mercedes – ROWE’s #22 – the #18 Manthey Racing car led SP7 with its nearest challenger in class a still respectably by relatively distant 18th overall.
Also inside the top 20 was the leading car in SP8 – the GT Corse Ferrari 458 in 19th overall, though a minute down on the car ahead.
2013 Nurburgring 24 Hours selected class leaders after 3 hours
SP9 – #007 Aston Martin Racing Aston Martin – Lamy/Mucke/Simonsen/Turner
SP7 – #18 Manthey Racing Porsche – Bernhard/Dumas/Lieb/Luhr (7th overall)
SP8 – #76 GT Corse Ferrari – Gotz/Kaiser/Kohlhaas/Mattschull (19th overall)
SP3T – #111 Raeder Motorsport Audi – Breuer/Deegener/Schmidtmann/Wohlfarht (33rd overall)