The final round of the 2018 DTM season at Hockenheim started with a spectacular but dramatic race for Augusto Farfus. Starting from fourth on the grid, the BMW Team RMG driver was chasing a good points finish in Saturday’s race in his Shell BMW M4 DTM, but with 15 minutes to go, he suddenly lost the left door of his car. His race ended prematurely while he was fighting for a top-five position.
Hockenheim traditionally hosts the first and final DTM races of the year. Fantastic summer weather and huge crowds offer the perfect backdrop for a great finale. Augusto made a strong start to Saturday’s events, setting the second fastest time in the morning’s practice behind fellow BMW driver Joel Eriksson. He then finished qualifying in fifth but was promoted to fourth on the grid due to a penalty for Augusto’s team-mate Timo Glock.
Augusto made a rocket-like race start in his Shell BMW M4 DTM, entering the first corner in third position. On the opening laps he was in a wheel-to-wheel racing pack fighting for P3 and was also in that podium position after lap six. On the following laps, there were multiple position changes in the pack behind the race leaders and Augusto dropped back to sixth. He then pitted on lap 17 and re-joined to continue his chase for the top-five. With 15 minutes to go, however, all of a sudden the left door of his car became loose and fell off. While the safety car was on track to allow the marshals to remove the door from the track, Augusto came to the pits. His BMW Team RMG fitted another door and Augusto was ready to go again, but the new door did not close properly so he and the team decided to retire the car.
“The race went very well for us,” Augusto commented. “In the first stint, we were not super-fast, but I managed to stay there in the pack. Our pace improved after the pit-stop and we were on course for a promising result. Suddenly, I lost the door. It just flew away, without any prior contact. This forced us to retire from the race. It came quite unexpectedly. But we have shown that we have a strong performance and with this performance we aim for a strong result in the final race of the year.”
The final race day of the season at Hockenheim will begin with the third free practice session at 09:00 local time; qualifying will take place from 11:10 to 11:30. The 20th and final race of 2018 race will then start at 13:30.