Two-thirds of the way through, the action continues.
While in the lead, the Land Motorsport Porsche experienced a rear-axle problem near Flugplatz at the beginning of the ninth hour. As a result, the car fell down the order but has since rejoined the race in 15th spot and 10 laps down, but remains one of the faster cars on track.
The No. 1 Manthey Porsche is still in the front after inheriting the lead from the unfortunate Land Porsche. The efforts of the foursome Bernhard/Dumas/Lieb/Tiemann have proven too much for the competition and have put two laps on the rest of the field since.
Changing conditions are challenging teams but the reigning double champion No.1 leads three of its sister cars, the No. 23, 25 and 26 in third fifth and sixth respectively, all part of the Olaf Manthey stable. The No. 121 Porsche 997 runs in fourth and local driver Klaus Abbelen was quietly confident.
"The night went very smoothly for us. A good choice of tyres in the rain allowed us to move up several places. Of course, we have also benefited from retirements. A combination of these factors has got us into third place now," he said.
Meanwhile, what had been a smoothly run race for the Paragon Porsche turned sour when the No. 31 had an accident just before 5 a.m. at Schwalbenschwanz effectively dashing any hopes of a good finish.
After the Porsche-dominated top five, a slew of cars have been fighting tooth and nail on the sometimes dry, sometimes damp Nordschleife, with weather conditions being variable all night.
The BMW Z4 No. 64 of ORMS Racing is in sixth place running five laps behind the leaders, while the M3 E46 of Scuderia Augustusburg have limited their time in the pits to run a solid seventh.
The 320d No. 261 is still having a basically flawless run to put themselves in the eighth spot.
Leading the SP3 category the No. 118 Scirocco is having a fierce battle with the Nissan Z33 of Falken Motorsports running in the same lap, about two minutes apart, after 18 hours of racing.