As all semblance of day light disappeared, the race became a darker, less friendly place... The Manthey car number 1, winners of the previous 4 years, were hit after a car they were lapping appeared to lose control....the damage was so severe they were forced to retire. Mark Lieb who was piloting the GT3-R at the time stated



“It is bitter to retire like this. it was going so well with an absolutely perfect car. We are all very disappointed.”


Porsche felt robbed of the position, and its easy to see why - this also meant that the first Audi should have taken the lead, but moments after the Manthey car retired, car 100 - the quickest R8 LMS, was involved in a collision at Pflanzgarten...



This meant that at midnight, the direct battle for the lead was now between car 99 - another R8, and the Porsche Hybrid.




At this point, I was down in Fuchsröhre - the Fox hole - where the quickest cars would be hitting more than 260km/h, despite the pitch black - it was an eye opening place to watch from - and helped understand the mentality of those taking part in the race.

Car 213 was running second in class (V4), so was clearly no slouch - but the rate he was overtaken in the pitch black was astounding.



It was now time to head back to the pits..