Augusto Farfus and BMW Team Schnitzer returned to the legendary ‘Guia Circuit’ in Macau where they celebrated the sensational win in the FIA GT World Cup last year. This time, Farfus had challenging races after had finished qualifying in 12th position, but with a strong performance in the #42 BMW M6 GT3 he claimed fourth places in both the qualification race and in the main race.
The weekend on the tight and twisty 6,120-kilometre street circuit started with two practice sessions and qualifying on Friday. The day brought 12th on the grid for Saturday’s qualification race. The driver from Curitiba knew that it would be a challenge on this track to chase towards the front positions – but he did.
Farfus gave a flawless display in the qualification race and crossed the finish line in fourth place. The safety car made several appearances to neutralise the field after crashes. Farfus had already climbed into eighth place by the end of the opening lap. He gained another couple of positions when Mercedes drivers Maro Engel and Edoardo Mortara collided and crashed out, and promptly passed Audi racer Christopher Haase at the re-start following the second safety car period. Farfus then defended fourth place through to the finish.
“You need a little luck in Macau, but you have to be able to take advantage of that good fortune,” Farfus commented after the qualification race. “We did that today. Our strategy was good. After the opening lap, it was all about staying calm and not taking too many risks. As we got further into the race, I was able to make even more progress through the field.”
For Sunday’s main race in the FIA GT World Cup, Farfus set his sights on the podium. Starting from fourth, he tried to make his way into the top three when the lights went off but had to settle with fourth for the first part of the race. His chance came with another safety car period. At the re-start, he took the opportunity and overtook Earl Bamber (Porsche). The New Zealander took third place back from him shortly after however, the order then remaining the same right through to the finish.
“There was nothing more we could have done today,” Farfus said after the main race. “We needed a good start to immediately make progress through the field. However, the Porsche drivers were clever and managed to stay in front of me. After that, it was tough for me to match the pace of the front-runners. I took a bit more of a risk at the re-start after the safety car period and was able to briefly take third place. However, I then braked a little too late coming into Lisboa, and found myself back in fourth as a result. It would have been tough to keep Earl Bamber behind me for the rest of the race anyway. If somebody had told me after the first practice sessions that we would finish fourth here, I would have taken that straight away. As it stands, we are a little disappointed now. You always want to make it onto the podium. Despite that, we can be proud of our performance. I would like to thank the whole team at BMW Team Schnitzer.”
There is no rest for the wicked as Farfus and BMW Team Schnitzer will now travel straight to South Africa for the season finale of the International GT Challenge that will be held at Kyalami this coming weekend.