The Six Hours of the Nürburgring began in overcast but humid conditions in the Eifel Mountains. With the threat of rain seemingly averted, it has been a largely clean and uninterrupted race so far. The #2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Neel Jani leads race at the three-hour stage after a smart pit stop during a full-course yellow (FCY) period just before halfway. The sister #1 car of Timo Bernhard remains in close contention, just ten seconds behind.
The early pace-setters in LMP1 were the pair of Audis, with André Lotterer and Oliver Jarvis engaging in a close battle with the #1 Porsche of Brendon Hartley. Neel Jani in the #2 machine made contact with a Ford in the early stages of the race and lost a number of seconds through his spin. However, the Swiss driver managed to get back on terms and snatch the lead during a well-timed pit stop during a FCY called for debris on track.
The LMP1 privateer has also delivered a fierce battle, with the #4 ByKolles CLM jumping the pole-sitting Rebellion #13 at the start and leading throughout the first stint. However, the Rebellions have gained the upper hand as the race has progressed and the #13 leads by a lap from the #12 car.
The LMP2 class is being led by the #36 Signatech Alpine machine with Gustavo Menezes behind the wheel, after the pole-sitting #26 G-Drive Racing car spent a lengthy period of time in the pits for repair work on a broken gearbox. The #26 machine had been the class of the field in the second prototype class, building a lead of almost a minute over the #45 Manor of Matt Rao.
In GTE Pro, the Ford GT of Stefan Mücke leads at halfway but owes the rest of the field a pit stop. Just 1.4 seconds behind, and set to inherit the lead once Mücke pits, is the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 of Nicky Thiim. The Dane is just one seconds ahead of the #51 AF Corse Ferrari with Gianmaria Bruni behind the wheel. GTE Am is led by Matthias Lauda in the #98 Aston Martin, which holds a lead of around half a minute from the #78 Proton Competition Porsche of Christian Ried.
Images (c) WEC-Magazin (David Tunnicliffe & Walter Schruff)