It may have been six months since Augusto Farfus last raced in the DTM in his number 18 Shell BMW M4 DTM, but luckily since then the Brazilian driver has spent a lot of time in racing cars. However, the first weekend of the new DTM season in Hockenheim will see a debut of kinds for him, as for the first time he will be competing with his new team BMW Team MTEK.
While Augusto has yet to race with the German team that is based in the Bavarian town of Garching, he doesn’t feel that he will take too long to get to know the crew and his new team-mate, Bruno Spengler. “I may have a new team, which is like a new family, but I know team principal Ernest Knoors and lots of the people there already from testing and just being around them over the years with BMW. Okay with any new team you there will always be different ways of working, but I don’t expect it will take that long to get used to this. However, I had some great times with BMW Team RBM over the years and want to thank Bart and the boys for that,” said the driver from Curitiba.
Looking ahead to not only the first two races over the coming weekend in Hockenheim, where the DTM season traditionally starts, but the other eight race weekends, he said: “I am obviously hoping for a better year than I had in 2015. I believe the car can be competitive and also every year I race I gain more experience. This will be my fifth season in the DTM, so that means I have learnt quite a lot. Of course, the DTM season is long and unpredictable, but I think we are well prepared.”
Augusto also feels that keeping racing, even if not in the DTM car, is important: “The more cars I drive the happier I am. It helps keep you alert and focussed and helps with preparation and motivation.” This is certainly true of his lead up to Hockenheim, as he has already driven a BMW M6 GTLM in the Daytona 24 Hours, a BMW M6 GT3 on the Nurburgring in readiness for the 24 hour race there, in the Brazilian V8 Stock Cars at his home track of Curitiba with his good friend and fellow Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, and that is apart from a lot of testing mileage in different cars.
The team is not the only thing new for Augusto in the DTM, as some of the rules have changed and the one that will affect the drivers most during the weekends is that regarding the use of the Drag Reduction System (DRS), as now it may only be used a certain number of times. In race one the drivers will be able to use 39 activations over the course of the race and in race two 57.
The schedule for the DTM cars on the 4.574 kilometre track will be FP1 from 17.00 to 17.30 on Friday (6th May). For Saturday it is FP2 from 11.20 to 11.50, Qualifying from 13.50 to 14.10 and the 40-minute race starts at 16.00. On Sunday it is FP3 from 10.00 to 10.30, Qualifying from 12.30 to 12.50 and the 60-minute race starts at 14.33.