As the 2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours ran into sunset the battle for the lead of the race developed into a nose to tail battle between the #26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS #26 and Phoenix Racing’s #4 Audi.
The battle was settled in favour of the BMW, which pulled out a 9.6 second lead as the race reached one quarter distance and 39 laps completed. The pair came together having made their stops together at the end of lap 32 and rejoined behind the #14 Black Falcon Mercedes that had pitted from the lead the lap previous.
However, though the Adam Christodoulou in the Merc had passed the Audi to take the lead a half dozen laps early both the Phoenix and Marc VDS entries were able to pass the #14 and become the lead battle once the #1 Black Falcon Mercedes made its own stop.
The BMW team took the lead on lap 37 as another battle was joined for third place between the #14 Merc – falling away from the leaders after Christoddoulou stepped out of the car – and the #22 Rowe Racing SLS. Not only was the Rowe entry able to move up a place but the #1 entry was able to pass both its Black Falcon stablemate and the Rowe car to run third at the end of the sixth hour, 30 seconds behind the leading duo.
These battles for the lead took place without the #66 Dorr Motorsport McLaren MP4-12C. The entry was already slipping back in the order as the scissor-doored cars poorer fuel economy pushed it out of those taking the lead during sequences of pitstops.
Then a water leak forced the team to recall the car to the pits after a lap of the GP track dropping them off the lead lap to run 16th overall at the end of the hour, the car back up to pace after the delay.
The sixth hour ended with the #7 Aston Martin Racing entry completing the top ten, the car escaping a flash fire in the pits during a scheduled stop when a small amount of fuel ignited on a hot surface. The #19 Team Schubert BMW was less fortunate, having to retire after an accident caused by suspension failure did irreparable damage to the engine.
The Rotek Racing Audi, which was leading SP4T at the end of the third hour toured to a stop on the Dottingher Hohe shortly afterwards, the lead of the class passing back to the Besaplast Racing Team #110 by the end of the sixth hour. The Kissling Motorsport Opel Manta, previously a lead of the SP3 class was also delayed by mechanical problems, falling down the order as the Gazoo Racing Toyota 86 took up the category lead.
2014 ADAC Zurich Nurburgring 24 Hours overall standings after 6 hours:
1 – #26 BMW Sports Trophy Team Marc VDS – Leinders/Palttala/Catsburg/Adorf
2 – #4 Phoenix Racing Audi – Haase/Mamerow/Rast/Winkelhock
3 – #1 Black Falcon Mercedes – Bleekemmolen/Simonsen/Menzel/Arnold
4 – #22 Rowe Racing Mercedes – Zehe/Hohenadel/Bastian/Engel
5 – #14 Black Falcon Mercedes – Al Faisal/Haupt/Christodoulou/Buurman
Selected Class leaders:
SP-Pro – #11 Wochenspiegel Team Manthey Porsche
SP7 – #56 Black Falcon Porsche
SP8 – #48 Gazoo Racing Lexus
SP10 – #94 Team Mathol Racing Aston Martin
SP3T – #111 Raeder Motorsport Audi
SP4T – #108 Besaplast Racing Team Audi