Augusto Farfus started the 2015 DTM season with a strong fight in today’s first race at Hockenheim. Starting from 23rd on the grid, the BMW Team RBM driver worked his way through the field and finished tenth, scoring one championship point. The curtain raiser sees a new format for the DTM race weekends: Today started with a free practice session in the morning, then a 20-minute qualifying session at noon and finally in the afternoon a 40-minute race without a pit stop. Tomorrow on the agenda for the driver from Curitiba will be another 20-minutes of qualifying and a 60-minute race with a mandatory pit stop.
The Brazilian shone in qualifying, being the fastest BMW driver and setting the third fastest time with his Shell BMW M4 DTM. However, the race organisers penalised him as they ruled the amount of fuel left in the tank was not sufficient in accordance with the regulations, and Farfus was relegated to 23rd on the grid. So he started his fight back from the last row.
In a hectic sprint race, which included two Safety Car periods, Farfus stayed out of all the trouble and crashes, made up position after position and finally crossed the line in tenth. “We survived pretty well,” he commented after the race. “We had a very strong car, so managed to perform well in the race as well as in qualifying. We showed we have a very strong package. It was a tough race. I tried to bring the car home in one piece and I had a strong pace. Overall I am positive.”
Even if the race only lasted 40 minutes with no pit stops to mix up the order, this first sprint was anything but tedious. “It was a pretty intense 40 minutes,” confirmed Farfus. “It was actually quite difficult, as you don’t have a pit stop and you have to push all the time, but it was enjoyable. Now I am looking forward to tomorrow.”
While today’s race was held in dry conditions, rain is forecast for tomorrow. Farfus is confident he will also be well prepared with his Shell BMW M4 DTM in wet conditions: “In the rain you also have to be clever, but the car was good and I think tomorrow even in the wet we can perform well.”
Tomorrow’s 20-minute qualifying will be held at 10:35, while the 60-minute race will start at 13:43.