The defending champions in the #1 Audi R8 LMS of Audi Sport Team Phoenix hold a three minute lead after nine hours of the 2015 Nurburgring 24 Hours after another rain shower helped to thin the SP9 GT3 class field.
The first sign that rain was falling out on the Nordschleife came with the off schedule stops for both the #1 and the #28 Audi of Team WRT to swap their charges onto wet tyres. Their stops handed the advantage back to the Frikadelli Racing Team Porsche, the Audi’s pit visits cancelling out their own unplanned stop, caused by a slow puncture.
Unfortunately Patrick Pilet in the Porsche would not make it back around to the pits in the lead. In the rain on the climb away from the Karussell he made contact with first the #31 Car Collection Motorsport Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 and then with the barriers. The damage would prove too great for the team to repair, their race over.
It was the same story at both Team Schubert and at Bentley, Dirk Werner crashing the #19 BMW on the Dottinger Hohe while the #84 would suffer heavy front end damage after a crash around Bergwerk. Both drivers were able to limp the car back to pits, giving up top ten spots.
Another team to have problems were the #4 Team Phoenix squad. Once the Frikadelli Porsche had started their tumble down the order Audi briefly held a 1-2-3 with the #1, #28 and #4. However issues with the exhaust put the #4 team into the pits. In their absence the #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS Z4 GT3, though a scheduled stop allowed the Falken Motorsports Porsche to take third place, the turquoise and blue machine stealthily making its way towards the front amid the flurry of pitstops and on track chaos that greeted the rain.
The #23 Mercedes of ROWE Racing held fourth after nine hours, the #25 BMW slotting back into fifth after their pitstop.
Aside from the dramas in the premier class, which also included a second pit fire of the race this time during a stop for the #26 Marc VDS BMW, several of the more high profile class leaders made mistakes in the darkness.
The #92 Manthey Racing Porsche, leader in SP7 crashed into the barriers, giving up the lead to the #61 team from the Black Falcon team. The SP-Pro leading Lexus LFA Code X was delayed by a puncture, however due to the issues for their class rivals – the #10 Wochenspeigel Team Manthey entry now a retirement – they maintained the class lead in 26th overall.
The dramas for the GT3 also helped the Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus SCG 003c up the order, the #9 team 13th overall at this point in the race.
2015 ADAC Nurburging 24 Hours overall standings after 9 hours:
1 – #1 Audi Sport Team Phoenix
2 – #28 Audi Sport Team WRT
3 – #44 Falken Motorsport
4 – #23 ROWE Racing
5 – #25 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS
Selected Class leaders
SP-Pro – #53 Toyota Team Gazoo Racing
SP10 – #86 Team Securtal Sorg Rennsport
SP8 – #50 Aston Martin Test Centre
SP7 – #61 Black Falcon Team TMD Friction
SP4T – #110 AC 1927 Mayen e.V. im ADAC
SP3 – #142 Schlappi Race Tec
SP3T – #114 Subaru Tecnica International