The ninth round of the DTM was a pretty tough race for all the BMW drivers, but Augusto Farfus managed to score eight points by bringing his Shell BMW M4 DTM home in sixth on Austria’s picturesque Red Bull Ring. He was also the highest placed driver from the German marque in both qualifying and the 40-minute first race of the weekend.
After the 20 minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon the Brazilian was fifth fastest with a time of 1:25.018 minutes, which was three tenths slower than the pole time set by Edoardo Mortara in the Audi, and only 12 thousandths of a second slower than the Mercedes of Paul di Resta just in front of him. While he felt BMW Team RBM had done a good job with the car, he acknowledged it was going to be difficult in the race: “We are struggling. The team managed to find a good balance for the car, which was a very good job, and I was also able to put a good lap together. I am pretty happy, but it is going to be a long race.”
When it came to the race he was able to follow the Mercedes of Christian Vietories for most of it, as he explained: “I was behind Vietoris and my aim was just to stay there because if I had tackled him all the rest would have come.” However, he was able to hold onto his fifth place for all but the second half of the final lap. The Audi of Mattias Ekström had been catching him gradually and finally made it within DRS range as they went over the line to start lap 29. Augusto was obviously disappointed to lose the position so late in the race, but was realistic about what was possible: “It was a good run and I survived there. It was a shame for the last lap, but when I saw Ekström behind me I expected him to launch an attack, which is what he did. It is a shame I lost P5. Our car is just not as competitive as we want, so it was difficult. Nevertheless we did a good job. This was the maximum we could achieve so I am happy. I have some ideas for tomorrow, so let’s see if I can get them to work.”
Tomorrow the driver from Curitiba will have to fight all over again. Sunday’s action starts with a 15-minute warm up at 11.00, qualifying for race two is from 12.40 to 13.00 and the 60-minute race on the 4.326 kilometre track starts at 15.18.